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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: Acts 3:11–21

By Administrator

April 19, 2024

While [the lame man who was now healed] clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. 12And 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? 13The 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. 14But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

17“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.”

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” a man lame from birth was healed at the temple (cf. Acts 3:1-10). This amazing event attracted a crowd wanting to know how this happened. So, Peter gave them the bad news. This miracle happened through the name of Jesus, whom they recently killed. So, Peter says, “You killed the Author of life” (15). Is there a worse sin? If anyone deserved hell, it must be the people Peter is talking to. But instead of calling down God’s curse, Peter says, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out” (19). That is forgiveness: sins erased, remembered no more!

The forgiveness for their sin, any sin, our sin, is only possible because of the kind of God, God is. Starting with Adam and Eve, God promised that He would save us sinners. God kept His promise and sent His Son. On Easter Morning we sang a Hymn asking, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” Well, the answer to the question is, “YES!” No, you were not there physically, but your sin sure was. Jesus was the great sin-bearer, He carried the wages of our sin to tree. Jesus was the great death-dier, He took our punishment, our hell, He died the death we deserve. But then the Hymn asks, “Were you there when God raised Him from the tomb?” Yes, because God’s mercy and love for the world, for us, is greater than our sin. We were there on Easter Morning at the empty tomb. Because of Easter, Jesus won the victory, sin has been blotted out. That is what the Lord is offering through Peter, even to those who had killed Jesus.

God’s mercy and steadfast love is greater than the sin of Peter’s hearers. You may think your sin is too big to forget, leaving you wondering: “Does God really forgive this sin?” YES, He does! There is no sin too big to forgive even if we can never forget it. God forgave Peter after he denied Him three times. And now this same Peter is holding out forgiveness “that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” (20) who will send Jesus back and restore all things to these very people who had “killed the Author of life.” Yes, sinners killed Jesus, but Jesus did not stay dead. Easter is God’s answer to sin, all of it. A look at history proves the world is full of sin. But history also proves there is something greater than sin. The fact is that God, the Almighty, all gracious, and all loving Author of life, entered our world in the person of His Son fulfilling every promise He made to redeem us, and blot out all sins to those who repent!

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM 
Reverend Steven Zandstra