When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? … Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.
When the chocolate bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans start filling the grocery store shelves, you know Easter is near. But very quickly after Easter, all that candy goes on clearance. Thirty, then fifty, and finally seventy-five percent off sales help stores liquidate seasonal merchandise.
Does your Easter joy ever feel like Easter candy at the local grocery store? Less than a week after Easter Sunday, does it feel like you’re coming down from a spiritual sugar rush?
It is a struggle we are all too familiar with. This is why the Book of Acts is so vital for us. When we met men like Peter and the other disciples in the gospel accounts, often we saw them at their worst. They were frequently frightened and confused. Even when they were bold, they often headed off in the wrong direction. But seeing the risen Lord changed them.
In Acts chapter 3, Peter and John were on their way to the Temple to pray. They saw a lame beggar and gave him something far greater than what he was asking for—they healed him in the name of Jesus. Instantly, the man’s legs became strong. After a lifetime of immobility, he was now jumping for joy and praising God.
Of course, many people had questions about this healing. Peter told them all that he had not healed this man by his own power. God had done this marvelous thing. God’s power had raised this man up.
The power of God is unlike any other. It makes barren women sing for joy as it did for Sarah, Rebekah, and Hannah. It stopped the flowing waters of the Red Sea, so the children of Israel could cross safely on dry land. The power of God is his Word. He speaks and then he does. He promises and then he fulfills.
This is what he did when he sent his Son. The power of God made his dwelling among us.The power of God humbled himself in becoming flesh and blood. The power of God rejected temptation and chose the path of righteousness. The power of God died and was buried in weakness. The power of God rose triumphantly from the grave. Jesus is the power of God.
Just like that lame man, you need God’s power to heal you. In his mercy, God has healed you from the sin that incapacitates. God’s Son has wiped out all your guilt and shame. The sin that haunts you has been replaced with the refreshing good news of Christ. The debt of your sins has been settled. Easter has lasting joy for you, because it is God’s power at work in your life.
Risen Savior, you paid the ultimate price for all my sins. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Continue to fill my heart with peace and joy, trusting that your power is still at work in my life. In your name, I pray. Amen.
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