Yesterday I made a point regarding the fact that "dirty politics is not something new. Former President Richard Nixon was all too familiar with Dirty Tricks In Politics." How many of you remember Watergate? I don't know if it was two words or just one. Let me summarize briefly what took place.
A break-in occurred on the night of June 17, 1972, as five burglars entered the Democratic National Committee offices inside the Watergate office complex in Washington. Discovered by 24-year-old night watchman Frank Wills, they were arrested at the scene by police at 2:30 a.m. Investigations soon revealed the Watergate burglars were employed by the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon. However, a White House spokesman dismissed the incident as a "third-rate burglary attempt."In August of 1972, President Nixon told reporters, "no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident."
The arrest of the Watergate burglars marked the beginning of a long chain of events in which President Nixon and his top aides became deeply involved in an extensive coverup of the break-in and other White House sanctioned illegal activities. In 1972, as part of Nixon's re-election effort, a massive campaign of political spying and 'dirty tricks' was initiated against Democrats, leading to the Watergate break-in to plant bugs (tiny audio transmitters) inside the offices of the Democratic National Committee.
Two young reporters from the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, then began a dogged pursuit of the facts surrounding the break-in. Among the many items revealed by them -- one of the Watergate burglars, retired CIA employee James W. McCord, was actually the security coordinator for Nixon's re-election committee - a $25,000 cashier's check for Nixon's re-election campaign had been diverted to the bank account of one of the burglars - Attorney General John Mitchell had controlled a secret fund which financed political spying and dirty tricks targeting Democratic presidential candidates.
Perhaps the most notorious dirty trick was a letter planted in a New Hampshire newspaper alleging that leading Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, had referred to Americans of French-Canadian descent as "Canucks."
Be careful with the power God gives you. There is a saying that says: " Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely!" This is what happens when people try to buy their way to a leadership position . This is what happens when a corrupt system gets out of control. This is what happens when you step outside of God's grace and try to do things on your win. This is what happens when you play God. People get hurt, you lose your integrity, people lose faith in religious leaders, institutions like government, you lose your credibility and integrity with people, and you can lose our life and very soul. Ask Judas, he lost his way, his companionship and fellowship with the Son of God. He lost his very life.
The high priest used dirty tricks and bad politics to railroad Jesus into their kangaroo court. Although the religious leaders could have arrested Jesus at any time, they came at night because they were afraid of the crowds that followed him each day. Earlier in the evening, Jesus was questioned by Anna's the order high priest and father-in-law of Caiaphas. Annas then sent Jesus to Caiaphas's home to be questioned ( John 18:12-24). Because of their haste to complete the trial and see Jesus die before the Sabbath, less than 24 hours away, the religious leaders met in Caiaphas's home at night instead of waiting for daylight and meeting in the Temple.
The high council was the most powerful religious and political body of Jewish people. Although the Romans controlled Israel's government, they gave the people power to handle religious disputes and some civil disputes, but the high council made many of the local decisions affecting daily life. However, a death sentence had to be approved by the Romans. (John 18:31).
Look at what these men did to Jesus that night: They yell at Him. They spit on Him,They slap Him & beat Him. Up until this point in His trial, the court has been fairly tame. Granted, there have been false witnesses
Granted, this has been an illegal, middle of the night court scene (it was against Jewish law to do this). ...
The high council tried to find witnesses who would distort some of Jesus' teachings. Finally, they found two witnesses who distorted Jesus' words about the Temple. (John 2:19) They claimed that Jesus had said he could destroy the Temple- a blasphemous boast. Actually Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it." Jesus of course was speaking about his body, not the building. Ironically, the religious leaders were about to destroy Jesus body just as he said, and three days later he would rise from the dead.
In verse 64, Jesus declares his royalty in no uncertain terms in saying he was the Son of Man, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, as his listeners well knew. He knew this declaration would be his undoing, but he did not panic. He was calm, courageous, and determined.
The high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy- calling himself God. To the Jews , this was a great crime, punishable by death. The religious leaders refused even to consider that Jesus' words might be true. They had decided to kill Jesus, and in so doing, they sealed their own fate as well as his. Like the members of the high council, your decision has eternal on sequences.
Are you willing to answer the question that might condemn you to death? Are you able to say like Thomas," I am ready to go with him and to die with him." He made a bold statement right before Jesus headed off to raise Lazarus from the grave. But when the rubber met the road, they all scattered that night in the garden of Gethsemane.. But Peter followed him at a distance, and when he was. cornered and asked if he knew Jesus, he denied knowing him three times. Remembering what Jesus told him about his denial of him three times before the cock crowed, Peter wept bitterly and went into hiding.
If you and I think we are exempt from being set up, railroaded into court or some predicament that will put our faith to the test just ask Paul, James, John and the young girl at Columbine that was asked by her attacker if she was a Christian? He was holding a powerful gun in her face at the time. She had an opportunity to deny Christ, deny her faith. But she didn't and he killed her and walked away. This young lady went to her eternal reward. At some point, if you are a Christian, you might be called upon to defend your faith. What will you say in your defense? A question like that makes ones say Hummmm!
Enjoy these few days of spring weather, BUT, "DON'T FORGET TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS!!!
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