“Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you—the miracles and wonders and signs that God did through him are common knowledge—this Jesus, following the deliberate and well-thought-out plan of God, was betrayed by men who took the law into their own hands, and was handed over to you. And you pinned him to a cross and killed him. But God untied the death ropes and raised him up. Death was no match for him.”
The quote above is from Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of verses 22 through 24 in “The Message”. These verses are a good summary of the story of Jesus’ life. Luke, the writer of Acts, is spreading the word to the people of his day. In this reading, he not only tells us the story, he makes it very clear that this was no accident. God had a very deliberate plan and David was just one of the prophets to tell about this plan long before it happened.
Luke uses quotes from Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110:1, where David writes about the messiah to come, to drive this fact home to his audience. Luke reminds his audience that David died and was buried and remains in his tomb. But, in Psalm 16, David wrote “For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.” – prophesying of Jesus’ resurrection.
There are a couple of things that come to mind as I read this. The first is that God does have a plan; not something just thrown together in a hurry but a very “deliberate and well-thought-out plan”. I find this very comforting - to know that from the very beginning God has been in charge and, although I may not recognize it, He knows what He’s doing. The second thing that comes to mind is that there are still people that need to hear this story and it is important to continue spreading the word in ways that can be understood by our audience. It’s not always easy, but by telling people the Good News of Jesus, we are continuing to be part of God’s plan.