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27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.


Verses 27-31 continue the church’s prayer after the release of Peter and John from custody.  


“For truly [emphatic] against Your holy Servant Jesus,

The allusion to this part of the church’s prayer from Psalm 2:1-2 is to the rulers of Israel who conspired against Jesus. The word “truly” is literally in truth. The emphasis on “truly” points to the unique (holy) person of Jesus.

whom You anointed,

“Anointed” is related to the concept of the Messiah. God anointed Jesus as Messiah like He anointed David to rule Israel (1 Sa 16:12). His anointment was to fulfill God’s plan on earth and to become King Jesus, King of the world.

both Herod and Pontius Pilate,

Both Herod and Pontius Pilate represented the Roman government in Israel. They became the adversaries of Jesus while He was on earth.

with the Gentiles and the people of Israel,

Gentiles (non-Jews) in general took their stand against the Messiah.

were gathered together

 Secular leaders gathered together to oppose Jesus. They did what Scripture predicted.


to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

The church’s prayer acknowledged the purpose for which the Father sent His Son. The term “hand” is a reference to God’s sovereign action in answering prayer. “Determined” means to know before, with the idea to see before the horizon (proorizo). God in His omniscience never learned anything because He always knew everything. He had an eternal plan for creation (Acts 2:23). “Determined” is an expression of God’s sovereignty. No scheme by the leaders of this world can overrule His purpose with Jesus.

The word “purpose” carries the idea of plan or will. Herod and Pilate were in God’s plan from eternity.


God uses opposition to the gospel for His eternal purpose.


God always uses adversity for something good. That is why understanding and applying God’s sovereignty to our experience is crucial. Then we can put our problems in God’s context. Without that understanding, we are left to the blind ramifications of life.

Puny humankind cannot offset God’s plans for creation. The sovereignty of God means that He is in complete control of all events of the universe. He is fully aware of every situation or thought of every human being on earth. He has an eternal purpose for everything with a view to eternity itself (Isa 46:10). Nothing happens without His permission.