Vol. 7, No. 3
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In Acts 2:23, we find the following words, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." The question may be raised, "If he was delivered unto death by the determinate counsel of God, why should anyone be found guilty for doing what God had already planned must be done?"
This may sound like a hard philosophical question to answer, but for one who understands and believes what the Bible teaches it seems relatively simple. God had planned before the foundation of the world that Christ should die for the sins of the world. God knew that there would be wicked men who would want him dead because of their jealousy or fear, or for other reasons. The fact that God knew that wicked men would do that does not mean that God made them do it or that he is to blame for their deed because he knew it would happen. If you see a man push another out of an airplane, you can be reasonably or 90% certain that the man will fall to his death, but no thoughtful, intelligent person would assume that you are therefore 90% guilty of his death, or contributed to it in any fashion.
So, the fact that God knew that Judas was a thief and would betray Christ did not mean that Judas was any less guilty. God knew that Pilate was a coward and an immoral weakling who would cave in to the Jewish leaders, but God did not make him that way. The fact that God and Christ both knew that he would die for our sins does not mean that he made wicked men do the deed. God determined that he would be delivered, but they delivered him (Matthew 27:2) by wicked hands.