Faithlife Sermons

Die for Us or By Us?

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Men of Israel, why do you wonder?

Peter boldly states to those who witnessed the miracle that had been performed before their very eyes, that it was nothing of him but of the God of Abraham and Jacob. To those amazed by the healing power it is only amazing because in our humanness we are not able to do these things, and in our humanness we cannot accept that God would heal through us.
This passage leans forward into an uncomfortable place in the history of our people. And that place is, where were you when they crucified my Lord.
Luke states in verse 14
14 But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you,
How is it possible? As a young man of Christ I often thought, if I were there I would not have let them crucify him. Yet in some ways I was there standing by you, and others claiming the same thing.
15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. (NRSV)
12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God,
Luke then goes on to give Christ and His name as being the sole reason that he is today the man you see here. Have you ever given credit to your mother, father, brother, or sister for making you who you are today? As a Christian we cannot be self-made men, but men given new life and new structure.
Luke then speaks directly to the people whom witnessed the cruel acts of crucifixion and forgives them.

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.

This moment is a little like breaking free from any addiction. We can be addicted to so many different things, especially those things that we deny. We can spend our time trying to deny our part in crucifying Jesus or we can admit that our sins put him there and then,
19 Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,
Many are still denying that they had anything to do with the crucifixion because they were not there, yet they want to claim the results of the Risen Lord. You cannot have it both ways. This is in my opinion what we are to do when God says, (NRSV)
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
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