Google+ 05/22/13 "God's People Nailed Jesus to the Cross!"

Acts 2:22-28

 

“People of Israel, listen!

God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene

By doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 

But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.

But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life,

For death could not keep him in its grip. 

King David said this about him: ‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises!  My body rests in hope.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’
 

 

As we continue with part three of our six-part devotion discussing the Holy Spirit, we are listening to Peter addressing the crowd on the day of Pentecost.  Today's Scripture will not make you feel "warm and fuzzy" inside.  In addressing the assembled masses, Peter chastises the Jewish people for their role in the crucifixion of Jesus.  This is the first time that anyone blames the Jews for the death of Christ.  Peter explains that it should have been obvious to them who Jesus was.  Through all the miracles, signs, wonders, and teachings, God was proclaiming that this was His Son Jesus, the Savior of the world.  Then Peter states a fact that we all know, but often forget.  God knew what was going to happen when He sent His only Son to earth.  God knew that Jesus would be betrayed, not just by Judas, but by God's originally chosen people.   Notice that Peter looks the Jewish nation in the eye and tells them, that with the help of the Gentiles, they nailed Jesus to the cross and killed Him!   At this point, you would have to think that the crowd might well be ready to nail Peter to the cross!  Now we know exactly why John 3:16 is so true.  God really did love the world that much.  Peter then delivers the Good News in our Scripture today.  God freed Jesus from the bonds and chains of death and raised Him back to life.  Then Peter quotes David, the man after God's own heart.  Why is Peter going into all this detail about the death, burial, and resurrection that has already occurred?  Peter testifies about this miracle for the same reason we should.  We take far too much for granted in our Christian lives about what people know, believe, or understand.  Think about the Jewish nation in Biblical days.  The Old Testament, which for all practical purposes, was the Scriptural book that every Jew studied.  Numerous places in the Old Testament predict the coming of the Messiah, the chosen one, the Savior of the Jewish world.  Every Sabbath, they were in the Temple studying and praying.  And what happened?  They missed Jesus altogether.  The Son of God showed up, performed miracles that no one else could, and taught the Scriptures with Godly authority, unlike anyone who had come before Him.  God's people didn't recognize Him, and furthermore, crucified Him.  Many times as Children of God, we simply have no clue.  We do not claim to be the Gentiles.  We, as Christians, claim to be God's people, but have the wisdom and discernment of a misguided Gentile.  How do we remedy this two-thousand-year-old problem of discernment of God's divine plans?  We must accept and listen to the Holy Spirit.  It is the voice of reason and our only stabilizing force in a "Gentile" world.  Don't make the unenlightened mistake of thinking that everyone knows the truth about Jesus, even if they have attended church for years.  Anytime we forget this fact, hear the voice of Peter saying,  "God's People Nailed Jesus to the Cross!"