John 11:53 — “So from that day on they plotted to kill Him.”
Again, we are forced to consider from this text the reality of two very popular notions that are increasingly coming to the fore in our times; the deep state and the reality of conspiracy.
Those who plotted against Jesus would be what we call the deep state. The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees were the power brokers of that time. They were moving behind the scenes in order to, in many respects, create the reality which Jesus had to face. They were the ones that worked on the arrest. They were the ones who bribed Judas for their plotting purposes. They were the ones that manipulated Pilate- i.e. — “If you release this man you are no friend of Caesar”. They were the ones who ginned up the crowds to cry out “crucify Him… crucify him.” The idea of a deep state manipulating the perception of reality has been with us forever. And of course, all this speaks of conspiracy. There was a conspiracy to put Jesus Christ on the Cross. The recognition of that conspiracy or the pointing out of conspiracies, in general, does not necessarily mean that we think conspiracies are sovereign over God. We can point out conspiracies realizing that God is conspiring to overturn the conspiracy of wicked men. The fact that conspiracies exist doesn’t mean that those who understand those conspiracies do not believe God is not sovereign. It merely means that they recognize that God often governs the affairs of men through the conspiring of men. To recognize conspiracy does not mean that we think those who conspire are sovereign. Even in their conspiring, they act according to God’s predestined purposes, which is exactly what God points out in the book of Acts,
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ 27 For truly against Thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, had gathered together 28 to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done.
The beginning of putting Jesus to death was the conspiring against Him.
History in its large moments doesn’t typically happen by random chance. It happens often at its significant points (like the crucifixion of Christ) in the context of wicked men conspiring. But behind those who conspire is the God who conspires against the wicked and their conspiracies by His predestinating word. So we have wheels within wheels. Men conspire, but the conspiracies of men are the result of God conspiring against the very same men so that even the conspiracies of men both reveal and serve the purposes of God for those with eyes to see.
Consequently, we would be foolish to not take into consideration the reality of conspiracy theory as a penultimate and secondary means for how God moves history forward to His destination. The idea that the first history we get in journalist accounts, or the history we read by the official court historians or the history we learn in our History 101 course in college is anything but some kind of humanist historicism to be accepted on face value is not wise.
Having said all this it is well recognized that conspiracies are not easily sniffed out and identified. Understanding historical events is often a matter of conjecture and probability and then seeing how matters conveniently fit together in a pattern that is other than what the court historians offer. One particularly well known American believed much the same,
But when we see a lot of framed timbers (sub-events of the same historical event), different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places and by different workmen — Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance — and when we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortices exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few — not omitting even scaffolding — or, if a single piece be lacking, we can see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in — in such a case, we find it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn up before the first lick was struck.
In this paragraph, Abraham Lincoln is representing the Dredd Scott decision as the consequence of a long series of conspiring by prominent men to arrive at a long predetermined decision. The point here isn’t that Lincoln was right on this point. The point is that Lincoln saw history here as a conspiracy. We agree and we agree that we likewise must look at the timbers (the individual historical exigencies) to see if they were framed by plotters to exactly fit.
People who believe that large historical events happen randomly or by chance or “they just happened” are beyond incredulous. People who believe that the court historians give the unvarnished truth are likewise beyond incredulous. As men as power broker did so with the crucifixion of Jesus, men as power brokers continue to do so today to plot and conspire and then to cover up the truth. Here those who believe in the conspiracy theory of history invoke, “It is the glory of those who think they are Gods to conceal a thing: but the honor of God’s people is to search out a matter.”
Men are seldom going to be unified on any one account of a historical happening or the kind of conspiracy that might or might not have driven the event. At the very least though, men might begin to agree that wicked men do plot and conspire and that at the very least God’s people should closely examine all official accounts that come to us by wicked men who have a vested interest to bend reality in their direction.