This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Thirty-eight-year-old Dedrick Bacon and his kids were walking home from dinner one evening in Waycross, Georgia. Suddenly Bacon’s four-year-old daughter ran out into the street, right in front of an oncoming car. Bacon immediately leapt into action. He ran out and grabbed his daughter and literally threw her away from the car, taking the brunt of the impact himself. He later died from his injuries, but his daughter survived. Bacon’s sister Idella said, “He took that hit for her. He saved her so she could be here longer and live her life. He’s become a hero.”
As remarkable as that father’s sacrifice was, I want to tell you about an even more remarkable sacrifice that a father made: when God the Father was willing to sacrifice His own Son for your salvation and for my salvation.
We know that the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ are the cornerstones of the Christian faith. We understand what Jesus said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world”–that is, you and me–“that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” As Christians, we know that the death of Christ is foundational to our salvation, but few people are aware of the events that actually led up to the crucifixion and death of Christ. From God’s perspective, it was all part of His plan. In Acts 2:23, the apostle Peter, seven weeks after the death and resurrection of Christ, stood on the southern steps of the temple in Jerusalem, and he preached a sermon to the very people who had crucified Christ seven weeks earlier. He said, “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” He was saying, “You are the ones responsible, but it was all according to God’s plan.”
Usually we look at the death of Jesus from God’s perspective, but this week we are going to look at the events that led to Christ’s crucifixion from a human perspective. Specifically, we are going to look at the six trials that Jesus endured shortly before His death and what they reveal to us about the Messiah, and what our response should be. These trials were filled with flimsy accusations, false evidence, and flagrant violations of both the Roman and the Jewish laws, but in spite of all of that, God used this horrific miscarriage of justice to achieve His plan for you and for me. This week we are going to look at the day that God was put on trial.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God On Trial” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Elizabeth Pace, “‘Hero’ Waycross Father Died Protecting Daughter From Car, Family Says,” Action News Jax, August 15, 2018, https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/-hero-waycross-father-died-protecting-daughter-from-car-family-says/813786457/.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org