Lent Devotional: Acts 2:22-36

by Jonathan Haefs

Acts 2:22-36 (click here)
…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. (Acts 2:23 and 32)

Who killed Jesus?

Was it Rome? Israel? You and me? Or was it God? The short answer is… yes.

All too often we want to give simple answers to complex questions… we want to streamline a multi-faceted issue, and the cross of Christ is multi-faceted in a horrifyingly beautiful way.

God killed Jesus. He was sovereign over the cross and Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. The cross was the eternal plan of the triune God. We might call it the great conspiracy of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus can be spoken of as the lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) because the cross was always the plan… it was always his plan (John 10:17-18).

If the triune God sovereignly planned the cross and guaranteed its outcome, then can we even say that anyone else was responsible for the cross? I mean… doesn’t that mean that the Romans, the Jews, and even us had no choice in whatever part we “played” in the crucifixion of Jesus?

Herein lies one of the greatest mysteries of Scripture… God’s sovereignty does not eliminate our responsibility… and our responsibility does not encroach upon God’s sovereignty! God is sovereign…true. We are responsible…true!

I know of no greater passage that brings this reality to the forefront than Acts 2:23… God was sovereign over the cross, and wicked lawless people were responsible.

When I look at the cross I see the result of my wickedness AND God’s righteousness. I see my hate AND God’s love. I see the horror of my sin AND the beauty of God’s salvation! Oh the glory of God in the cross!

Who killed Jesus? My sin murdered him… the Triune God’s love sacrificed him.

Come behold the wondrous mystery! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afXZlzZdUiI

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.