In the Bible we find a story about a lame man who had been sitting outside the temple, in the same spot, for many years. He was brought there on a daily basis for the purpose of begging alms from those entering the temple. [Acts 3:1-2] One day Peter and John, who were apostles of Jesus Christ, were heading into the temple when they noticed this lame man obviously looking for some help, and the scriptures record the following:
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: (Acts 3:6-9)
A great miracle had taken place outside the Jewish temple and this man, who had been lame since birth, was now jumping up and down giving God all the glory and praise. The lame man was naturally drawn to the side of Peter and John because they were the ones who called on the name of Jesus Christ to heal him.
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:11-16)
The Jewish apostle Peter then addressed the people using the words “ye men of Israel” and told them that they should not look at them [Peter and John] as if they had anything to do with that man being healed. Peter made it clear that, the lame man’s healing had absolutely nothing to do with their own power or their own holiness. Peter then specifically mentioned the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the God of our fathers, as he spoke to the men of Israel. He told them that He was the one responsible for that man being healed. Not only that, but Peter told those same men of Israel that God glorified His Son Jesus in that healing. Peter served the same God that Abraham, Moses, and all of the other fathers of the faith served. That was what he wanted the men of Israel to know. If a person is truly a Christian, who has been born again of the Spirit, then they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they also serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A true Christian also knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is only ONE way of salvation. That salvation is found in Jesus Christ. [John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12]
And now, brethren, I wot [know] that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:17-21)
Peter cut right to the chase and he told the men of Israel that it was through their own ignorance that they put Jesus Christ to death. Ultimately the Jewish people wanted Christ to be killed because they thought that He was guilty of blasphemy. The Jewish people could not comprehend that the person that we all know as Jesus Christ could have been the Son of God, even though the prophets since the beginning of the world had spoken of the coming Messiah. [Isaiah 42:5-7, 53:1-12, 61:1, Micah 5:2, Zecharaih 9:9] The scripture verses below make it clear that the Jewish people wanted Christ dead because He claimed God as His Father, which was blasphemy in their sight. There are many today, both Jew and Gentile, who still feel that way. They find the thought that Christ is the Messiah, or the Son of God, ridiculous.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18)
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:32-33)
The scripture verse below is from the book of Leviticus in the Jewish Torah [also in the Christian Bible] which shows us the reasoning behind the Jewish people wanting Christ to be killed.
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)
The Bottom Line
Peter was both bold and gracious at the same time. He basically told his own Jewish brethren that they were responsible for killing Jesus the Christ [Messiah]. Peter told them that they were ignorant in what they did, but then he told them to repent and be converted so that their sins may be blotted out. Peter let the Jewish people know that God’s grace and mercy was still available to them, but it was found only in Christ.
This is something that needs to be clearly addressed. Peter was calling the men [and women of course] of Israel to repentance, and he connected their repentance with their sins being blotted out. If a Jewish person does not repent of their sins and convert, according to scripture, their sins cannot be blotted out. That same message still holds true today for both the Jewish and Gentile people all over the world. If a person does not repent and be converted, then they simply remain in their “unconverted condition.” This leaves them without the BLOOD atonement [Leviticus 17:11] which is found in Jesus Christ alone. Do you believe that?