Summary: EASTER 2(B) - April 7, 2002 - Even though mankind denies Jesus, God glorifies His Son for the single purpose that believers are forgiven.

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(Sermon of April 7, 2002)

ACTS 3: 12-20

When Peter saw this, he said to them: ?Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you dis-owned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus? name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you?even Jesus.

Dearest fellow redeemed and saints in the Lord,

Certainly you and I still rejoice and celebrate on this Sunday after Easter, enjoying the victory of Christ, our Savior over sin, death and the devil. We have before us one of the early sermons of the early apostles. We find that they follow a formula that is going to become quite familiar?a formula that states: these people sinned by putting Jesus to death, but God raised him again from the dead and their sins are forgiven. All this according to God?s plan. All this to fulfill what was to happen.

We heard in our lesson how the disciples were locked in the Upper Room, afraid on the first day of the week. We heard how Thomas did not believe until he saw Jesus face to face. We hear over and over again how the disciples were not quite sure about this resurrection. And Jesus, when he appeared to them, we?re told in the Gospel of Luke, ?He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: ?Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms??(LUKE 24:44). This morning we look at the fact that God fulfilled his prophecy about Jesus. The fact is that God fulfilled all of his prophecies. We consider the fact that






Peter comes and preaches to the people. Now, he?s not going to let them off the hook for all the things that had just taken place. Namely, that Christ had been put to death. And we hear his words, his scathing remarks, pointing out their guilt to them. He says to the people, ?YOU handed him over to be killed, and YOU disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.? Remember, Pilate had washed his hands of the affair, couldn?t find anything wrong with Jesus, but the crowd persuaded Pilate to have Jesus put to death.

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