Acts 4:27-28 – for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.
This portion of the prayers of the disciples teaches us more than about their faith and prayer life. Peter and James have just returned to the disciples from being questioned by the religious teachers. As they pray, expressing their confidence that God will accomplish his will, we see that they understood that God had long beforehand predestined exactly what would happen to Jesus.
Today is Good Friday, and so we remember the crucifixion of Jesus. Let us be very careful to remember that, as we look back on this horrible event, we do not think that men somehow thwarted the will of God. Though the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at the hands of the Roman government by the will of the Jews is, without question, the most grievous sin ever committed, it was not done against the sovereign will of God but in concert with it. God’s will is bigger even than the tragedy of a moment or a lifetime. God’s will is eternal. This is how God can work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). This is how God could demonstrate his love for us (Romans 5:8) while we proved our ultimate sinfulness.
Today, as you remember the Son of God’s death on the cross of Calvary for your sins, also remember that this was God’s eternal will and plan. God planned to show you his grace from before the beginning. God was not surprised by your sin, and he was not surprised by the solution to your sin. Jesus came to earth, paid your debt, and demonstrated the righteousness and glory of God for all to see (Romans 3:23-26).
Lord Jesus, I come to you this morning, and I praise you for what you accomplished on the cross. You demonstrated the justice and holiness of God. You showed the love and mercy of God. You paid for my sin debt, though you never sinned. You are truly glorious. I especially honor you, Lord, as I recognize that this is what you had predestined. You planned this forever. It shows how awesome you are. You have all knowledge. You know all things past, present, and future. Your glory is unfathomable.