Summary: Why would Peter repeatedly tell his audiences that they were guilty of the death of Jesus? Why didn’t he just preach a more comforting and positive message?
For the past couple of months we’ve been preaching our own version of the “Biggest Loser. Unlike the popular TV show, the losers we’ve dealt with 8 different Bible characters who made poor decisions and lost BIG.
But today we’re looking at the biggest losers in Scripture who ever became winners.
One of most popular TV shows on NBC for the past few years has been “The Biggest Loser”.
Does anybody know how many seasons this show lasted? (Eleven)
It’s an extremely popular show.
In fact it is SO popular that several other nations have developed their own version of show.
There’s an Asian remake.
There’s one broadcast on Arabian networks.
Then there are other ones in Australia, India, South Africa, Israel, Germany, and several other nations.
During the season Contestants often lose between 100 and 200 lbs. One man even lost 264 pounds.
But whether they win the contest or not, many have found-losing all this weight makes them winners.
· One woman has started a singing career and fallen in love.
· Another woman – on this year’s series - has lost enough that she is looking forward to getting pregnant.
· Several have started their own workout programs.
· The oldest man who has taken part in show was able to stop taking the 5 medicines he’d been on.
One woman said of her experience:
"I feel stronger… more self-confident… like I’m worth it now. I’ve changed inside and out."
There was something about what that show did for these people that changed their lives.
Like I said before, for the past couple of months we’ve been preaching our own version of the “Biggest Loser. We’ve dealt with 8 different Bible characters who made poor decisions and lost BIG. But today we’re looking at the biggest losers in Scripture who ever became winners.
Our scene today takes place on the day of Pentecost.
Pentecost was one of the very special holy days the Jews observed, and it took place 50 days after the feast of the Passover where Jesus had been betrayed, put on trial… and led away to die on Calvary.
Between the feast of the Passover and this festival of Pentecost…
· Jesus has risen from the dead
· He’s met and talked with many of His followers
· and He ascended into heaven and has sat down at the right hand of the Father.
But before Jesus had gone up into Heaven, He’d told His disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit that God had promised them.
And when that gift came, it came with the sound of a violent wind and something that appeared as if it were tongues of fire came down and rested on the heads of the 12 apostles and they began to speak in languages they’d never learned.
Now this got the attention of just about everybody in the Temple area and soon a large crowd had gathered together to see what this strange thing was happening. Seizing that opportunity, Peter got up and began to address the crowd and he started telling them all about who Jesus had been.
Peter said they had all seen/ the many miracles and signs and wonders Jesus had done.
· He’d healed the lame, the sick and the demon possessed.
· He’d fed thousands with just a small handful of food.
· He’d raised a young girl from her death bed… and Lazarus from the tomb after he had been buried for 4 days!
And they’d ALL seen this.
And even if they HADN’T all they had to do was ask around and they’d find someone who had.
After all these powerful things He had done…
After He had been so kind and helpful to the people of that land…
After He had given them everything He had to give…
They’d crucified Him!
But He didn’t stay dead.
The evil this crowd had taken part in had all been prophesied by God 100s of years before.
Peter told them: “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Acts 2:23-24
It’s possible that many of those in the audience had been part of the mob that had demanded Christ’s death. It’s likely it was they who had cried out “Crucify Him… Crucify Him”
They may not have ACTUALLY put the nails into Jesus’ hands… but they may as well have. Because, with the help of wicked men, they had put Him to death. They’d been whipped into hysteria by the Chief Priests and Pharisees who had convinced them that Jesus needed to die.