#God Has A Plan
Act 2:22-28 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— (23) this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (24) God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (25) For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; (26) therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. (27) For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. (28) You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
On Pentecost, the apostles preached about Jesus Christ of Nazareth. From Peter’s sermon here you can see that the people in Jerusalem, including the visitors who had probably been there since just before the Passover, had heard about Jesus already. Indeed, many had heard Jesus teach and had seen him do miracles, signs and wonders. The works Jesus did attested to his coming from God and were the very works of God. Jesus testifies during his visible ministry, oh 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,…”, Joh 10:37-38 “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; (38) but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” and Joh 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”
Now Peter says something that I think answers some people’s question about God and evil, though it does not tell us all we’d like to know or give us complete understanding, on the one hand, was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” It is written, Isa 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” Of course there are numerous more passages in the Old Testament which point to Jesus’ death as God’s plan for our salvation. But see here, it was God’s plan to kill Jesus. Secondly, we see, that doesn’t get those off the hook for carrying out God’s plan, “you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” God knows what is going to happen. God uses what he knows is going to happen for his good and the good of the Church. As it is written, Rom. 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
God did not leave Jesus dead, though his death had won our salvation. God raised Jesus from the dead to fulfill his plan. It was impossible for death to hold Jesus because he was sinless, innocent and righteous. The death he bore for us he left in the grave. Jesus’ resurrection fulfilled David’s words in Psalm sixteen. Now Jesus is for us the path of life. Having been baptized into Jesus we bear his cross now and we become his holy ones whom he will also raise from the dead and be seated with him at the right hand of God. Because Jesus is at God’s right hand, we need not be shaken by what happens to us in this life for we know Jesus’ present is our future.
Heavenly Father, as we look to your right hand where Jesus is, may his death and resurrection always give us the assurance that we will not be shaken when we don’t know your plan and foreknowledge of what is to come for us in this life, we know the ultimate outcome in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord which is our good. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.