With hundreds of prophecies related to the Messiah, it shouldn’t surprise us that God used many people—believers, unbelievers, and even some unquestionably wicked individuals—to ensure the Savior’s earthly life would unfold according to plan. For example, a census ordered by Caesar Augustus brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, the city of Christ’s birth. (See Mic. 5:2; Luke 2:1-4.)
What’s more, God used some of the most powerful men of the day to bring about His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross. Trumped-up charges by the Pharisees and Sadducees helped turn the crowd against Jesus (Mark 15:9-11). Pilate condemned Him, and the Romans carried out the actual crucifixion. They even bartered for His clothes and chose not to break His legs, as predicted in Scripture. (See John 19:24, 36.)
During the dark days between Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples must have believed the messianic plan had been derailed. But God’s goal wasn’t to bring political revolution as some believed. He sent His Son to redeem mankind: Jesus paid the penalty of death for all our sins.
Before the foundation of the world, God had planned for the salvation of every tribe and nation. Throughout history, He orchestrated events to fulfill His purpose, using even the ungodly to move His plan forward.
Many have had a hand in advancing the Savior’s story, but the ultimate responsibility is the Father’s. He gave His only Son over to death on behalf of the world that He loved (John 3:16). Both the righteous and the wicked who took part in God’s story were following His script.