4/12/16 Eyewitnesses

Peter sees the crowd pressing towards them and takes the opportunity to share Jesus’ message.  “Men of Israel,” he shouts, “Why are you so surprised to see this man walking?  Why do you stare at us as if we have done this miracle under our own power?  We are but lowly sinners and have no power of ourselves.  Our God and your God, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the Father of our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, has done this.  He is the same Jesus of Nazareth who you handed over to Pilate for crucifixion, demanding that He be put to death even after He was exonerated by both Pilate and Herod.  You begged Pilate to release Barabbas, a known murderer and rebel, and insisted Jesus, the only Man in all of history who has never committed any sinful acts, be crucified.  He was the one who created all life, and you had Him killed.  But on the third day God brought Him back to life again, and we are here to testify to this as eyewitnesses.  This man who you now see walking in front of you was healed through the powerful Name of Jesus the Messiah, through faith in Him and His ability to save.  You know this man, you know he has been unable to walk since birth, and now you have seen the power of faith in Jesus the Messiah.  Now, I know that if you had known, had believed in your hearts, that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah, that you would not have had Him crucified.  But He willingly gave His life in order to fulfill the prophecies written long ago about Him – that He would have to suffer and be killed in order to save the world from their sins.  I tell you now, if you turn away from your sinful desires and turn to Jesus for forgiveness, He will erase all your sins and give you eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus will return at the right time and take you to be with Him in Heaven.  He will be there, in Heaven, seated at the right hand of God the Father, preparing a place there for each of us who trust in Him, until it is time to put an end to the evil of this world and restore it to the perfect place it was in the very beginning.  God has promised this through His prophets long ago.  All of the prophets, from Moses and Samuel all the way to John the Baptist, spoke of Jesus.  Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people.  Listen carefully to all that He says to you.  Anyone who does not listen to Him will be cut off from God and from His people.’  You are descendants of these prophets, and what God promised to them is also promised to you.  God told Abraham, ‘Through you, the whole world will be blessed.’  When God sent Jesus to us as a Man to live among us, He sent Him to His chosen people, the people of Israel, first, that through us He might bless the whole world.  Jesus wants you to turn away from your sins and put your trust in Him to save you.”

 

Acts 3:12-26

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