Drawing from the Well, 5/17/16

Again, sorry for getting this up a day late. Life’s demands have been unrelenting, but I’m hoping to have several posts out this week.

For an introduction to this series, read this.

As we move on through the Apostles’ Creed, we come to another line of the second section on God the Son:

Memorization for the Week

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Thoughts for Discussion with Children

In the book of Acts, there is a story about how Peter and John were brought before the Jewish authorities because of their preaching about Jesus in the temple, where Peter had just healed (by Jesus’ power in him) a man who couldn’t walk. After the authorities questioned Peter and John, they decided it wasn’t a good time to punish them, so they let them go. Then Peter and John went to their friends and told them what had happened and prayed together with them. This is what they said in Acts 4:24-28:

Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’ [that was a quote from Psalm 2, which David wrote]–for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

It is interesting that, in the whole Apostles’ Creed, only two persons (other than God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are mentioned: Mary and Pontius Pilate. We know why Mary is important: she was Jesus’ mother. But why is Pontius Pilate important? What did he do?

He is the Roman official who ordered Jesus to be crucified. He didn’t really want to kill Jesus, but the crowds persuaded him to do it, and he gave in to their demands, sentencing an innocent man to death. That is a very terrible thing, and all the more so because the one he sentenced to death was actually the Son of God.

But did you notice what the disciples’ prayer in Acts 4 said? It said that all the people who opposed Jesus (including Pontius Pilate), though they were doing something very bad, were actually doing exactly what God had planned to take place! Does that mean that God approves of their evil deeds? No! God never approves of evil. But did you know that, even though God hates evil, he still uses the sinful actions of people to accomplish his plan? That means that even when wicked people rebel against God, they still can’t stop his plan. God will get what he wants, always. That is because he is the Creator and Lord of all things and all people, including the very man who crucified his Son. No one can beat God, ever.

Now think about how amazing that is: Pontius Pilate committed a terrible sin, but even when he did so, that was God’s way of sending Jesus to the cross so that he could die for our sins and fulfill God’s promise to bring salvation to the world. What an amazing God he is!

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