22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
This description places Jesus firmly as one of us, a man brought up in Nazareth, living a life like us, sharing our experiences and emotions, ups and downs. But he was not just a human, he also made the astonishing claim that he was God as well. We would normally dismiss this as ridiculous, an act of dishonesty or over-inflated sense of self importance that is deluded or fantastical, so what makes Jesus any different? The fact that the Father backs up his claims through ‘miracles, wonders and signs’. God confirms the truth of his words. But despite this, we put him to death, not able to cope with his goodness and love. This was no accident, however, it was always God’s plan to hand him over to us. In fact even this served to prove his deity and goodness, death could not hold him, the Father would not abandon him to the grave and raised him to new life.
Father, we may not have carried the nails and the hammer, but it was for our sins that Jesus was nailed there. Forgive us our self-centredness that blinds us to who he is and inhibits us from giving his the praise that he so deserves.