“You intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” (Acts 5:27-32)

Acts 5:27-32

“…you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us (Acts 5:28).” This accusation was lodged against the apostles, and the world continues to lodge this complaint against Christians.

Few crimes are more grievous than murder. After Cain killed his brother Abel, God said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground (Gen 4:10).” Abel’s blood cried for justice! 

On whose hands was Jesus’ blood? On the one hand, Jesus’ blood falls on all of us, every human being who has walked or will ever walk on this earth. If not for our sin, Christ’s death on the cross would have been unnecessary. His crucifixion epitomizes our rejection of God. The Son of God came into the world, took on human flesh, and dwelt among us. What did we do with him? We hung him on a cross. Pilate reckoned him innocent (Luke 23:4), but the angry mob demanded, “Let him be crucified (Matthew 27:22),” and said, “His blood be on us and on our children (Matthew 27:25). Had we been there we would have consented by either joining the blood thirsty chorus or with Pilate-like equivocation.

On the other hand, what happened to Jesus could not have happened unless the Father and Son in perfect agreement willed it to happen. The Father knowing from eternity past that our sin separated us from his holiness planned it this way. The Son from eternity past, loving us with the Father, willingly subjected himself to the cross. God, being gracious and kind, knew the only way to satisfy his just wrath against sin and evil was to provide a substitute. That substitute needed to be human to take what was our penalty. He also needed to be divine, because no human was capable of bearing that penalty. The gracious Judge of the Universe declared our sentence of “death,” and then his Son, in perfect agreement with his Father, appeared to take upon himself our sentencing.

We are all guilty of this man’s blood. However, in the place where we should find just condemnation, we find the gracious offer of forgiveness for sins. Christ died for the very people who murdered him. Undoubtedly, some who cried, “Let him be crucified,” later came to believe in him. Even the thief crucified at his side received the glory of paradise, even though he deserved eternal damnation (Luke 23:39-43). Yes, this man’s blood is on us, but it was also given for us.

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