“God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” (Acts 3:26)
Imagine yourself at the temple where Peter and John preached in Acts 3. How would you react if you saw the “lame” man at the temple gate suddenly start walking?
Israelite witnesses were in awe when they saw Peter and John heal a lame man. Peter responds by not taking any credit for the healing, recognizing that this isn’t about him nor is it about the cure of a physical illness. By the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter reveals our true ailment, the sin in our hearts, and our true healer and servant, Jesus Christ.
Sin is what really imprisons and kills us (Rom. 6:23). Peter almost immediately calls his audience to “repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out (3:19).” This means surrendering our lives to God, and turning our backs from the things our Father hates. Left on our own, we cannot lead a life of holiness under God. It’s natural. We need the Spirit to empower us to want to be more like Jesus and less like the world, to empower us to follow Him faithfully. We need God in order to repent.
This repentance Peter calls us to pursue isn’t merely for the sake of killing our sin. Rather, repentance is our heartfelt response to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, dying on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins. Because God has showered us with His grace, we are blessed beyond measure through the cross. After all, blessing us was Jesus’ purpose on earth, as Peter concludes in his message, “God raised up his servant and sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways” (3:26). Imagine that! God blesses us not only through the gospel but He also turns our hearts to Jesus!
The true healer for the true sickness, sin, is Jesus. This is why we celebrated Easter, Jesus’ resurrection yesterday. If you believe this, are you amazed? Are you glorifying Him not just on Easter, but every day? Believe and seek Him today!