Acts 4:27-28 (HCSB)

For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place.

     The word “predestined” means “to design definitely beforehand.”  I find it interesting that the early church was theologically sophisticated enough—many of them had been listening to Christ for up to three years—to understand and appreciate predestination.  We cannot escape the implications here, even though some of us might like to from a theological standpoint (Adam Clarke: “It is evident that what God’s hand and counsel determined before to be done was not that which Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, (Romans,) and the people of Israel had done and were doing; for, then, their rage and vain counsel would be such as God himself had determined should take place, which is both impious and absurd; but these gathered together to hinder what God had before determined that his Christ or Anointed should perform; and thus the passage is undoubtedly to be understood.”).
     The best way to understand this verse is that all—Christ and his opponents—were acting in such a way that God’s predetermined plan of salvation would occur.  Does this mean that Christ’s opponents were not making free choices?  By no means, for by their own testimony they would say that they were doing what they wanted to do (oppose Jesus).
     Somehow God’s plan meshed with their own choices.  
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