Sovereignty of God
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain– Acts 2:23
Nowhere is the sovereignty of God seen more brilliantly displayed than in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
God had already shown, for hundreds of years in advance, “by the mouth of his prophets, that Christ should suffer” (3:18); each of these prophecies was fulfilled to the minutest detail. And this was not just a description based on foresight — it was God’s ordaining his Son to die for the sake of his people.
As Peter proclaimed, those who crucified Jesus were simply gathering together “to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:28). Jesus died a substitutionary, saving death on the cross by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.
Yet, Peter insists in his Pentecost sermon, each of you who participated in the injustice and cruelty of the crucifixion did so by wicked hands — you are guilty of every wicked decision you made. God was sovereign in bringing the crucifixion to pass, but you are culpable for the wickedness you performed.
Here is the balanced, scriptural truth. God planned every detail of the crucifixion, from start to finish, ensuring that the sins of his people were fully paid for; yet, each and every person who participated in the wicked deed is guilty before God for their sin.
Dear believer, do not use the sovereignty of God as an excuse for your sin; your decisions are your own. But when you sin, when you fail, know that God has not left your salvation to chance; he ordained and fulfilled the perfect plan of salvation for you, in the life and death of Jesus Christ on your behalf.