Summary: When Peter took the opportunity presented by the healing of the lame man in the Temple, he minced no words. There is a big mistake we can commit, but we can also turn from it and find forgiveness and rest.
Passage: Acts 3:11-26
Intro: I got an email this week encouraging me to boycott Target stores. They have removed the word “Christmas” from their stores.
1. happening for years.
PP “Merry Christmas” fades out, replaced by “Happy Holidays” (what will they do when they discover Holiday is short for “Holy Days”
PP political cartoon about removing “In God We Trust”
2. no surprise, there will always be those who reject God in their personal lives and our national life.
3. but it’s an example of the big mistake.
4. this passage in Acts is a microcosm of the big mistake people tend to make.
5. earlier in chapter, Peter and John heal a man who had been lame for 40 years.
6. big crowd gathered, about the perpetuate “the big mistake”.
7. clearly, something in their demeanor caused Peter to caution them in v12, “don’t do it”!
8. then he launched into another sermon.
9. first one 3 minutes 4 seconds, this one is 2 minutes. But it was interrupted by the Jewish leaders.
10. but it got the point across. And it still does, because the big mistake is still being made today.
11. the good news? God’s response is bigger.
I. A Big Example of the Big Mistake
1. the last two months had been very exciting in Jerusalem
2. Passover with a controversial crucifixion, rumors of resurrection.
3. and then an event at Pentecost that had precipitated a huge faith movement
4. and now this: the miraculous and public healing of a well-known life-long disabled man.
5. Peter recognized the opportunity to bear witness to Jesus, and took it!
Il) saw a couple weeks ago in Acts 3:1-10 that Peter and John exhibited “spontaneous availability”. He didn’t even have a chance to prepare his Power Point!!
6. Peter quickly built a powerful case
Proving the Jews committed “the big mistake”
7. contrast could not be stronger between the behavior of the Jews and the perspective of God concerning Jesus Christ.
PP (Build the case for contrast on opposing sides of the slide)
8. the God of the Jews glorified Jesus
9. in Scripture, God the glorified one or the one who glorifies. Never man to man.
10. in contrast, the Jews did several things:
11. “handed him over”=a legal term for “turning someone over to authorities
12. “disowned him”=deny, strong implication of rejection, strengthened by Pilates offer to release.
13. God revealed His coming in Scripture, “Holy and Righteous One”
PP Isaiah 9:6
14. v14, released a murderer instead of Jesus.
Il) they would have released Hitler instead of Jesus.
15. “you killed the author of Life”, (“you” in emphatic position)
16. God raised Him from the dead.
Il) Antiques Roadshow, what someone has let go for 50 cents is shown to be worth $100,000
16. and now you are about to give the glory for this healing to us!!
17. the Jews of Jesus day, walking in the steps of their fathers, were perpetuating the Big Mistake.
18. they were not listening to God
19. so God’s response is terrible judgment, right?
II. God’s Bigger Response to the Big Mistake
1. Peters statement in v17 unique
2. “you and your leaders acted in ignorance.
3. this is an amazingly tender and gracious statement
4. they had the written law of God, the promises of God, the physical presence of the Christ. And still they disobeyed.
5. of all the people on Earth, the Jews received the greatest revelation from God
6. and that makes their sin of rejection even greater.
7. and yet what does God say?
8. “I knew it all along. I planned to use your predictable rejection of Jesus to fulfill my plan.”
9. Jesus had to suffer for our sins, and God knew the Jews could be trusted to participate in His execution.
PP Isaiah 53:3
10. this was their pattern.
11. God used their participation in the execution of their own Savior to provide the sacrificial payment for not only their own sins, but the sins of the world! V19
12. if God can forgive the murderous sin of the Jews, He can certainly forgive yours and mine.
PP word means “obliterate, wipe out” SIN (wiped out)
13. “repent” of what? The refusal to listen to Jesus.
13. and receive instead a “time of refreshing”, probably “rest”
III. How Do I Avoid the Big Mistake?
1. this passage is full of OT references and names
2. Peter preaching to Jews, so tailored his sermon to them.
3. but we have OT, can see the chain of evidence he refers to.
PP Jesus is:…
4. the promised prophet v22
5. v23 terrible translation in NIV, should be “does not listen to that prophet”, i.e. the one Moses foretold and emphasized