Tag Archives: persecution

The Peoples Plot In Vain

Why Jesus is My Hero #20 of 52

Raging Bull

As a Christian, it’s easy to feel as though you’re part of the ridiculed minority. It doesn’t require much ingenuity to mock the gospel, and many people love to make the most of the opportunity.

This has always been the experience of Christians. It started with the crucifixion of Jesus himself, and his early disciples didn’t have it any better in the book of Acts. But those early Christians had a confidence that enabled them to keep speaking openly about Jesus even when it landed them in prison. An early episode in the book of Acts, in chapter 4:25-26, shows them quoting from Psalm 2:

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
‘Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.'”

Jesus is the Lord’s “Anointed one” – the Messiah, God’s king. And people hate that – they hate the fact that he has the right to tell them how to act and how to think. It goes completely against the grain of our society – “nobody tells me what to do!” And so they killed Jesus, and they arrested his disciples, and still today they persecute Christians who dare to call people to follow Him.

But what is God’s response?

“He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
‘As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.'”

The very thought of a puny human attempting to defy God’s authority is enough to have him chortling – a deep belly laugh. Do they honestly think they can get away with it? God gets on with his business undeterred: he will see his King enthroned on Zion, his holy hill. Nothing can stand in his way – certainly not a tiny creature like a human being.

The disciples in Acts knew as much: when they quote this Psalm, they speak of how the very act of defiance by the people, the crucifixion of Jesus by “Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel” – the very act of trying to get rid of Jesus for good was in fact the thing “that God’s hand and God’s plan had predestined to take place”. In trying to defy God, all they managed to do was to bring his purposes to fruition. They fell right into his hands.

No wonder God laughs. His purposes will always stand, his King Jesus will be seen by all as Lord and Judge one day, and no amount of raging and plotting by the peoples of earth can stop him. That’s why Jesus is my hero.