The Power of the Resurrection
It was truly amazing to be able to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus this past Sunday! As I have been reading through the book of Acts this past week, I was amazed by the power of the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection radically altered the life of His disciples. They went from men who ran away when Jesus was arrested (John 16:32; Mark 14:50) to men who boldly preached the gospel of Jesus in the face of intense persecution (Acts 4 & 5).
The transformational power of the resurrection is most prominent in the life of Peter. I was struck with the boldness and clarity with which he presented the gospel. In Acts 3, after miraculously healing a lame man, Peter preached the following to the crowd that had gathered:
“Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
Peter confronted them with the truth. He told them that they had denied the Son of God. Does this sound familiar? Peter had done the exact same thing when Jesus was at the house of the high priest. Peter knew first hand what it was to deny Jesus. Peter had walked on water with Jesus, watched Jesus raise a young girl from the dead, and saw Jesus heal his own mother-in-law. However, when Peter was confronted with being a follower of Christ, he denied him. Three times.
Three times Peter had the opportunity to identify with Christ, to stand with Him. Yet each time, he denied Him. Peter knew what it was to deny Christ. He was not condemning the crowd; he was speaking truth to them; he was sharing from personal experience. They had killed the Author of Life, yet God raised Him from the dead! And because of this glorious truth, there is grace and salvation. This truth is what restored Peter and allowed to him to preach the rest of the message:
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
The power of the resurrection restored Peter. He was a changed man. He no longer cowered in fear but boldly proclaimed Christ. He boldly identified with Christ despite opposition. He was no longer trusting in himself but was resting in the power of Jesus. This same power of the resurrection is available to us today! Whether you need to repent for salvation or need to repent and be restored, the power of the resurrection is available. Turn to Him and be refreshed.