My Great Need
17“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
18But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.
19Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
22Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
23And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
24And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
25You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’
26God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Using the miracle of healing the lame man in order to point to Jesus, Peter now delivers the Gospel in a way that should resonate in the heart of every Jewish person there. He ties Jesus inextricably to the Old Testament prophets and patriarchs naming Him as the long awaited Messiah. Peter even gives the Jews a bit of a pass as he acknowledges that they “acted in ignorance”. They didn’t know they were killing the Promised One.
This passage is such a finely crafted exposition of our great need for a Savior and God’s overwhelming response. He sends the Promised Messiah in the person of His Son. What Peter doesn’t shirk away from is the fact of our sin. He calls for repentance and reform. The language of phrases like “Repent and turn back” and “turning every one of you from your wickedness” grabs our attention. That is exactly who we are; a people who are sinful and need to turn away from said sin. But Peter doesn’t leave us in that place. Instead he shares the result of Jesus’ work; “times of refreshing that may come from the presence of the Lord”.
As we wander through our lives it is easy to lose sight of our primary need. We compare ourselves to others and think that perhaps we’re not so bad. We try to “be good” and hope that this will earn us a place in God’s heaven. But these verses that mix our wickedness with the work of Jesus prove otherwise. We are in desperate need of a Savior and God has provided what we need. Jesus has come to save us all.