11 While he was holding on to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astonished, ran toward them in what is called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he addressed the people: “Fellow Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why do you stare at us, as though we had made him walk by our own power or godliness? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied before Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer released to you. 15 You killed the source of life, whom God raised from the dead; we are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. So the faith that comes through Jesus has given him this perfect health in front of all of you. 17 “And now, brothers and sisters, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your leaders also did. 18 In this way God fulfilled what he had predicted through all the prophets — that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, 20 that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time of the restoration of all things, which God spoke about through his holy prophets from the beginning. 22 Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers and sisters. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 And everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be completely cut off from the people. 24 “In addition, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, have also foretold these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring. 26 God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” — Acts 3:11-26
Peter Preaches to the People
by John Cahoon
Don’t you love buying broken things? Of course not! Brokenness means that something is going to inconvenience us. It’s going to cost us extra time, money, and energy. It’s going to disappoint us, and things are probably going to get worse before they get better. At least, that’s how we think about brokenness. What about God?...
In Acts 3:1-10, a man born lame begged money from Peter and John. But God had so much more to give him. Through Peter and John, God miraculously healed the man, and he immediately leaped up and praised God. He knew God didn’t see him as the world saw him, but instead was committed to making him whole and well, inside and out.
Seeing the crowd’s awe, Peter stood up and began to preach them the exact same message. He put his finger on the heart of the matter and pulled no punches. He told them they had killed God’s Son! They had denied and rejected Him. In so doing, they killed the only One who could give them life and restoration. How ironic! How sad!
Why is that? It’s because we are all broken people, and like all broken things, we don’t work the way the we should. We don’t naturally love God. Like the Israelites to whom Peter was preaching, we seek abundant life in everyone and everything else except the One who provides it—the Author of Life. What’s the solution? God’s glorious grace!
In verse 18, Peter tells the crowd that God knew all along that His people would, out of their brokenness, kill His Son. But God, being rich in mercy, used that tragic sin to bring healing to His people. Jesus died to take the punishment all our sins and sinfulness deserve. Now that Jesus has risen, our sins are no longer counted against us! Our brokenness before God has been made whole again!
But there’s more good news! We are no longer slaves of sin in this life. God longs for us to be refreshed by His grace in newness of life. Peter says as much in verses 20 and 21.
The way to begin experiencing that refreshment is given by Peter in verse 19: “Repent.” Fun word, right? You’re jumping with joy! Probably not. Repentance has a very painful, guilty, negative ring to it. But that’s not what God intends. Repentance is meant to be an invitation to restoration and refreshment. Did you hear that? Invitation! God is inviting you to experience deeper joy and life with Him by turning from disobedience to obedience.
Remember, God punished Jesus in your place. There is no longer any anger or condemnation stored up for you. God is a loving Father who simply wants to enjoy life with His beloved child…you. Repent, and be refreshed.
- For most of us, when we imagine someone saying, “Repent,” we probably envision them with a red, angry face. Is that how you envision God when you read “repent” in the Bible? What if He was saying it with a kind, inviting smile? How would that change things?
- When you think about obedience, do you first think about what it’s going to cost you (time, energy, resources), or do you think about what you will receive from it (joy, intimacy with God, etc.)? What role does attitude play in our obedience?
- Why are repentance and restoration linked concepts?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.