Daily Thoughts : September 5th
Acts 2:23 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
This was Peter preaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. In so doing he presented to us the double aspect of all that happened to Christ – a combination of the purpose of God and the evil of man.
Without doubt Jesus' death was pre-planned by the Trinity and was to be the means of redeeming man. The Scriptures widely declare that truth. It was God's clear plan and purpose being worked out; that was what He was aiming to achieve. But did He make men do it? No!
This is where the other half of the equation fits, the evil of mankind, but before we see it clearly we have to see that God's foreknowledge knew how men would respond to Jesus. God (and Jesus) knew exactly what was needed to provoke the inherent evil in mankind to respond and rise up in physical opposition so strong that it would accept nothing less than his death. This is the awful truth, that God knows our potential – for Good, when we turn to Him, and for Evil when we don't. All Jesus had to do was be good and be good in their faces and his goodness would shame them, make them see how they fell short, and then those who would not turn to God would act defensively to remove this one who was a threat to their pride, who revealed them for what they were. The options and their consequences are always there. Be careful.
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