“When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” (Acts 5:27 – 28)
To explain, briefly. The Revised Common Lectionary uses passages from Acts as story telling passages of what happened after Jesus returned to heaven. It in a way parallels the Old Testament which tells the stories of the Divine’s ancient called and chosen people before Jesus came.
This passage is also “delightful” because it has the Jewish leaders trying to disavow their responsibility for Jesus’ blood being shed. Remember a day or two ago (it may have been Good Friday) I said the Jewish leaders made a grave error in pleading their allegiance to Rome and condemning the One who claimed to their King. Well, the consequences have come. But, that is not where the apostles thinking and rationale comes from. Oh, um, not the only place.
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Verses 29 – 32)
The apostles are determined to witness to what they saw, and what they now understand. It took Jesus’ death, resurrection, and then revelation as to be the Son of the Divine for the apostles to realize the importance of all that had gone before. By the same token, it took these same things for the Jewish leaders to see that their “problem” had NOT been dealt with but had multiplied. It also, actually, took these things to bring out Saul, and then turn him into Paul. And, beloved reader, it took all these things – plus the Holy Spirit – to bring believers such as ourselves to faith. And the consequences just continue on and on – Praise the Lord God! Shalom & Selah!