Submitted by Jan on Tue, 22/04/2014 – 11:47
Year A (2013-2014)
Bible Book: Acts / Handelinge
Verse: 22 – 32
The backdrop of our passage is the Pentecostal event, by which Christ came down to us spiritually and remains among us until the end of the age.
We read of the phenomenon of languages, which marks the Church’s universality at the Pentecostal event. (This is the opposite of the confusion of languages at Babylon according to Genesis 11:6-9). After this Peter stood up and delivered an evangelistic sermon which culminated with the conversion of almost 3 000 souls to Christ.
In his sermon Peter made it clear that, although Christ’s death had been pre-determined by the Trinitarian God, humans also played their role in his death as they detained him, beat him, dehumanized him in all ways they could and ultimately crucified him at Golgotha. It’s important to remember that the highest Jewish court in Jesus’ time (the Sanhedrin) met and took the decision which determined Christ’s death on the cross (Matthew 26:57-67).
Interestingly, some of the same population who cried “Hosanna” when he entered Jerusalem, a few days later, after being instigated by the religious leaders, chose to set free Barabbas rather than Jesus, who they condemned to be crucified. Dying on the cross was the most humiliating death one could experience at Jesus’ time. It was reserved for the most dangerous people in society. That was the death the religious leaders, in liaison with the people, chose for Jesus who was innocent. Barabbas however, was a thief, murderer and social agitator, but was just released from prison. Furthermore, they accepted before Pilates that Christ’s blood would be on their shoulders and of their children as well (Mathew 27:25).
For all these reasons, they became guilty of Christ’s death, as Peter pointed out to them in his confrontational address (Acts 2:23). However, their action coincided with God’s plan! This is something which is hard to understand completely. Humans collaborating to make God’s plan come true, yet at the end of the day they are found guilty of their actions.
After condemning Jesus to death, the religious leaders assumed they had triumphed over him but, surprisingly, God raised him to life. What seemed to be a defeat for Jesus and his followers was turned into victory. Christ’s death, and particularly His resurrection, has become the pillar of the Christian’s faith across the world and over the time.
To think about: How can we help people and communities to overcome issues which are apparently defeating them like HIV and AIDS? Have we been playing our role?
By: Rev. Eduardo Sassa, CABSA Representative in Angola and a trained Channels of Hope Facilitator since 2010
Author: Sassa EV (Ps)