Summary: Acts Series: 15th sermon--"You Desired a Murderer, You Denied the Lord, You Must Decide to Repent!"
The Apostle Peter’s 2nd Sermon
v. 1-10 The lame man asked for alms and got legs…this led directly into Peter’s 2nd sermon.
He and John gave the lame man something much better than the finances he was requesting…and he walked, leaped, and praised God…and it drew a big crowd!
What does a Baptist preacher do when he sees there’s a crowd? [take offering?] No! Preach!!
Underestimated sermon, for in his 1st, 3k were saved, but 4:4 says 5k men were saved after the 2nd! This is a masterful sermon, and we see God’s man growing in the Spirit and improving even more!
3 main points:
1. You desired a murderer
v. 13-14 Barabbas chosen over Jesus by Jews. Custom was every year at Passover that a convicted criminal would be set free/considered to be a demonstration of mercy.
Wouldn’t just commute sentence as our governor did a few months ago, but rather they would turn a man loose!
Barabbas was the most notorious criminal of that day…guilty of treason/insurrection/robbery/murder. And when Pilate asked the crowds whom to set free, the howling crowd in mass hysteria called out, “Give us Barabbas!” What should I do w/ Jesus? “Crucify Him!”
They chose a murderer and they rejected their Messiah/chose a man who was convicted as guilty, and condemned a man who was completely innocent/spared the life of a murderer and ordered the killing of one who had raised the dead!
No wonder v. 14 says what it does!
So what does that have to do w/ me?
If not saved, a whole lot! For Barabbas is a picture of every lost person who walks this earth, and each one who rejects Christ as Savior.
• Thief—all unsaved people are thieves! “I haven’t ever stolen anything?” Yes, you have, every day you continue in your lost condition you are robbing God of the glory which belongs to Him/created for that, and He allows you to walk His earth, breathe His air, enjoy the life you received from Him—but when you refuse to love and serve Him you rob Him! Don’t just get saved to avoid hell [good reason, but not best]. That’s a bit selfish…get saved first and foremost to give God the glory He deserves!
• Rebel—guilty of high treason against Roman gov’t…and each lost person who rejects Christ is doing more than just missing a great blessing, but they shake their fist in the face of God and say I don’t need you/want you…I can make it on my own! [it’s rebellion!] Verse in Psalms says the fool says in his heart, there is no God…we usually apply to an atheist…but study the Hebrew text and you’ll see the words “there is” are not in the text.
[No God!…or No, God! I don’t want your authority in my life/influence/rules]
ill.—eat out/waitress brings dessert menu out/full so you say, no dessert/…it’s not that you don’t believe in the existence of dessert, but that you don’t want any, or don’t have room for it!
Say no to God, and you are a rebel, just like Barabbas
[Christians can and do rebel as well, and say, No God!]
• Murderer—“pastor, you can’t charge me w/ murder”…I just did! “Who have I killed?” The Son of God! And so did I…in heaven’s courts, we are ALL implicated in the death of Jesus Christ…it was my sin and yours that nailed Him there!
R. G. Lee was witnessing to a man one day who said, I guess I’ve done about every sin but kill a man…he said, no you did that too!
Homicide, a terrible thing/suicide/infanticide…worse than all of those is Deicide, and we’re all guilty!
So Barabbas pictures all lost people.
‘you desired a murderer…’
2. You have denied the Lord
v. 13-14 2x’s ‘denied’
• A risen Lord—v. 15 Peter can’t help but mention the resurrection in all his sermons…and why not, it’s the proof that He’s God, and that we’re right!
The tone of the sermon changes, as Peter offers them a loophole…though guilty, how they can be cleared of these charges!
They denied not only a risen Lord…but also:
• A redeeming Lord—v. 17…it was in ignorance…though they knew He was an innocent man, they truly didn’t believe He was the Messiah.
This is a Jewish crowd, familiar w/ their OT’s…the law, which teaches there is a clear difference between willful sins and sins of ignorance [God places in totally different categories]. As different as murder and manslaughter! [city of refuge]
He is not absolving them of their guilt, but he is mitigating the circumstances/the charge reduced from murder to manslaughter [a glimmer of hope!]
Peter started off as the prosecuting attorney, but now has moved up close to them, walked over to their side, as their defense attorney, and he’s pointing their attention to someone seated above them: the pardoning judge!/our spiritual city of refuge, Jesus Christ!