Jesus Crucified: Man's Guilt and God's Plan

Date: PM
Text: Acts 2:23
  1. Man’s sinful responsibility.
    1. The “men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem” were condemned for not receiving God’s testimony of Jesus (22).
    2. Peter declares that this Son of God “ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”
      1. The word order puts on the foreground “Him” the victim of their lawless deed.
      2. Their “hands” literally took hold of Him, whipped Him, and nailed Him.
      3. These hands were “lawless” instruments of lawless hearts and minds.
      4. They crucified Him, identifying Him as worthy to die and worthy of the curse of God (excommunication).
    3. Who are the guilty?
  2. Behind the cross and man’s wicked hands is God’s “counsel and foreknowledge.”
    1. Jesus’ death was not accidental.
    2. Note the boldness with which Peter speaks of God’s determinate (pre-ordained, appointed) will.
      1. Though impressing his audience with their guilt, Peter does not hesitate to speak of God’s counsel at the same time.
      2. Peter is preaching the Messiah in which God Himself is involved, revealing His purpose, control, wisdom, and love.
  3. Important significance.
    1. This does not remove human responsibility, for our responsibility is determined by God’s commandments.
    2. God’s decree does not make God the author of sin (Canons I – 15b).
    3. Whenever we speak of God’s counsel, we are told that it must be done with reverence, discretion and piety (Canons I -14).
    4. God ruled at the cross, accomplishing His purpose, in spite of the intention of Satan, the Sanhedrin, and wicked men.
    5. God accomplished redemption and reconciliation for His people in Jesus’ death on the cross.