As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— 25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.’
27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” – Acts 3:23-30
Sometimes you just need to share the burdens of life and faithful witness. I can recall a time when that was the case. It was early on in my ministry and I had experienced an extremely unkind and hurtful treatment. I went to a wise older pastor and told my story. His comment, “Well, next time tell them, ‘You can let Jesus back on the throne now.'” I wish I had had that in my quiver prior to that experience!
Sometimes we need to let people know just how far off base they are; how improperly they have assumed the judgment seat of God. It is never fitting for someone to render judgment against another repentant brother or sister in Christ. It’s not proper for us to assume the place of God’s rule and reign. That is reserved for the King of kings. We don’t even get to take a place on Jesus’ right or left hand. Those places are reserved for the ones designated by the Father (cf, Matthew 21:23).
We must, however, be careful how we treat those who accuse us. While it may feel good in the moment to tell someone to let God back on his throne, it is a better witness to endure unjust suffering as a witness to Christ. This is something Peter not only preached (cf. 1 Peter 2:19) he also experienced such unjust suffering. Perhaps that moment when I failed to have a sharp retort to those who treated me so unkindly, I shared in Christ’s suffering (cf. 1 Peter 4:13).
There are those who deny Jesus his proper place in their hearts. Let that not be said of us! We confess with joy and delight, “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and entrust ourselves to his providential care and ultimate justice.