The crowd in the temple is amazed as they see the familiar lame man jumping around and praising God. “And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?’”(Acts 3:12). Peter is careful not to give them the impression that he is responsible for the miracle, although he surely could have gained notoriety had he sought it. This is about Jesus.
In fact, Peter risks making himself extremely unpopular with what he says next. “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him”(Acts 3:13). These Israelites have “denied the holy and righteous one” and “killed the author of life”(Acts 3:14, 15). The messiah has come and they have rejected him. Yet their rejection is not the last word, because Jesus continues to work amazing, undeniable miracles like the one they have just observed.
I wonder if these men have thought much about that day when they shouted, “Crucify him!”. I suspect that they may have some regret, but what’s done is done. Only it isn’t. Peter’s preaching reminds us that our sins don’t really go away. Until they are forgiven, they stretch on into the present, accusing and condemning us, compounding our guilt, tying us to our evil. We can clear our search histories, hope we never see the people again, and pray that others forget, but unforgiven sin doesn’t just go away.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Is there sin that I need to talk to God—or others—about?
One Thing to Pray For: The joy and relief of a clear conscience
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