I Crucified the Lord of Glory, and He Loves me anyway. Praise the Lord!
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” – Acts 2:36
As I’ve been reading through the Book of Acts, I have been struck by how how the Gospel is preached in the opening chapters. It is the unabashed, unadulterated, unaccommodated, un-equivocated raw truth of the Gospel!
I love how Luke quotes Peter readily juxtaposing God’s Sovereign plan with Man’s Responsibility (Acts 2:23, 4:27-28). He says this was God’s “definite plan” and the people did “whatever God’s hand predestined to take place” and hearing this “they were cut to the heart.”
The people being addressed are fully, unequivocally, responsible for their actions! Its hard to get around the fact that God is certainly in control and yet as a Christian I know I’m fully responsible for what I do.
Peter tells those he’s witnessing to that “You Crucified” Jesus. (Luke 2:23, 36, 4:10, 5:30).
Now, we’d expect to hear Peter say this to the religious leaders. They did in fact have Jesus arrested, falsely convict him, hand him over to the Romans, and called for his death. So when we see them being accused in Chapters 4 and 5 it makes sense.
10 ….by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead… – Acts 4:10
30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. -Acts 5:30
But the first time we see this charge being leveled is actually in Chapter 2 at Pentecost. Here Peter says to the crowd of visitors to Jerusalem, people from Every Nation (v5) and tongue (v9-11), “this Jesus…you crucified and killed” (v23) and again “this Jesus whom you crucified” (v36).
I guess someone could argue that these people at Pentecost were the same ones that were also in Jerusalem that previous Passover when Jesus was crucified. They very well could have been some of the crowd who cried out “Crucify Him, Crucify Him, …give us Barabbas.” But not all of them. Peter says this to over 3000 people (Acts 2:41) and its highly unlikely that this many people were in the courtyard shouting this to Pilate, let alone that everyone one of these people were even in Jerusalem for the crucifixion.
I don’t think it matters to Peter if these people were the ones who called for Christ to be crucified. I believe Peter’s point applies to every human. Jesus goes to the Cross not as an accident, but to pay the price for people’s sins as part of God’s “definite plan.” If you are in Him, your sins are paid for on His cross. You are responsible for his crucifixion. I think we are meant to see ourselves in the people from every tribe, nation, and tongue who crucified the Lord of Glory.
You and I are as guilty as:
The Jews who cried “Crucify Him, Crucify Him”
The Religious leaders who lied about him, punched him, and spit on him
The Herod the illegitimate King and His court that mocked Him
Pilate who succumbed to the mob and ordered His death
The soldier who whipped Him and the crowds that insulted Him
The soldiers who held the hammer and nails that went into his flesh
I Crucified my Savior.
Have you ever thought of that? “You Crucified” your savior. He did this for you.
Peter says this to those who come to faith in Christ, “they were cut to the heart” (2:37).
And it should do that. But then we remember, that Jesus did this precisely to redeem us and because of His Love for us. It is in this vein that Paul writes,
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
Therefore, to live in the initial condemnation we feel would not be honoring of Christ’s sacrifice. He gave it all, so you can have freedom in Him! Honor Him by accepting the gift by Faith and receive His Grace and Love.