[Addressing the people at Pentecost, Peter said,] "People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip."
— Acts 2:22-24 NLT
The proclamation of a crucified Savior was offensive (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). A crucified Savior was preposterous for Gentiles in the first century. The Greek verb form for "crucify" was considered too crude to say in polite society. Jewish people understood that anyone hung on a tree was cursed by God (Galatians 3:13). However, the cross was God's plan to bring all people to himself through Jesus (John 12:32-33). Both Jews and Gentiles took part in the Lord's crucifixion, as God had declared through his prophets would happen. In Jesus, God placed the sin, hatred, and curse of humanity upon himself to bring us salvation. This self-sacrifice was God's plan. The message of Jesus' sacrifice was unstoppable — it spread like wildfire, reaching the hearts of all sorts of people showing the divine power behind this "offensive" message of grace (1 Corinthians 1:22-25, 2:1-3). As Jesus' disciples, we are the living testimony to the power of God's plan!
O precious Father, how can I properly thank you? You gave me your grace through Jesus' sacrifice. Your triumph through self-sacrifice captured my heart. Your love, your plan, has spread your message throughout the world and has inspired me to share the message of Jesus with others. You have changed my life with your grace. Thank you! In response, I dedicate my life to honor your gifts of grace to me in Jesus. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Luke 2:25-35, 24:1-7
- Galatians 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 21:22-23
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.