Acts 2: 23 “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”
John Piper, in a sermon,“Did You Kill the Lord of Glory?”
I can hear a superficial cynic respond to this and say, “What kind of endorsement is that? If God planned to hand over Jesus to be killed, then all he did was link arms with lawless men and help them put Jesus to death! That’s not much of an endorsement.”
The reason that’s a superficial response is because it ignores everything else the Bible has to say about why God planned the death of Jesus. Listen to what Jesus said at the end of Luke’s gospel about why God planned his death. Luke 24:46, “Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.”
In other words God planned the suffering and death of Jesus so that forgiveness of sins could be preached to all the nations (cf. Isaiah 53!). The difference between God’s plan to crucify Jesus and Pilate’s plan to crucify Jesus was that Pilate was rejecting Jesus as mere pretender and God was honoring Jesus as the Servant of the Lord and the Savior of the world. God planned the death of Jesus not to disown him or dishonor him or reject him, but to glorify him as the perfect, flawless Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
God’s plan for Jesus to die was not an indictment like the plan of the Jews, but an endorsement of his infinite worth so that he could save the Jews. Are we with God in this or against him?