Monday, February 2, 2015
“And when they had brought them [the apostles], they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” (Acts 5:27,28 KJV).
Did not Israel’s religious leadership remember that they condemned themselves long before the Lord’s apostles did?
Several months prior to today’s Scripture, Jesus’ trial occurred: “ When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:24,25).
Luke 23:20-24 supplements Matthew’s account: “ Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.  But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.  And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.  And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.  And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.”
At Jesus’ trial, Israel’s religious leaders cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children!” Today’s Scripture says they now, nearly a year later, are recanting their “guilty plea.” Now, they pretend to be innocent! In today’s Scripture, Israel’s high priest admits he greatly objects to the apostles’ preaching that Israel killed Messiah Jesus (cf. Acts 2:22-24,32,36; Acts 3:12-18; Acts 4:10-12). Rather than admitting wrong-doing, they blame-shift and say the apostles’ message is flawed. Peter, in the verses following today’s Scripture, again reaffirmed Israel did indeed kill her Messiah (verses 29-32).
Friends, do not be surprised when lost people—especially religious people—tell you they are “not that bad.” Israel’s religious leaders tried to use the same “escape-hatch” with the apostles. Let us not be discouraged, but preach God’s grace in love, meekness, and boldness! 🙂