July 06, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Ultimate Blessing
“Unto you first, God having raised up His Son Jesus sent Him to bless you,
in turning every one of you from his iniquities.”
Acts 3 relates the healing of the lame man at the Gate Beautiful. It was likely only weeks or months earlier that the city had cried out for the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. Now, boldly, Peter charged the nation with the greatest of crimes and the blindest of passion. They had “denied the Holy One and the Just” and chose a murderer. They had taken the Prince of Life and put Him to death.
To display their folly, God had raised His Son from the dead to attest to the value of His work. The healed man was a testimony to the power of that Name and heaven’s ratification of all He had claimed.
Crime upon crime, folly adding to folly, the nation stood in the dock of divine justice with no possible answer for the heinous crime of which they were guilty.
Yet in a display of wondrous, amazing grace, the Spirit of God, through Peter, opened the doors of the city of refuge for them, changing their crime from willful manslaughter to ignorance. “I wot that through ignorance you did it” (v 17). Salvation was possible for all who would avail themselves of this City of Refuge that grace had provided. On the cross, the Lord Jesus had prayed, “Father, forgive them … they know not what they do.” Peter takes up the same truth and makes escape from divine retribution possible. What mercy on the part of God!
In verse 25 he intimates that through this same person they had rejected, the Promised Seed, all nations would one day be blessed. But then he adds, “Unto you first.” To the nation that delivered Him up, denied Him, desired a murderer, and killed the Prince of Life, to these very people He was sent first. And God’s great intention was “to bless you.”
Mercy abounded in giving the nation this opportunity of salvation. Grace super-abounded in desiring the blessing of the very nation which sought to make Him a curse by hanging Him on a tree.
Christ is the great Blessing Bestower on all of humanity. His coming has brought blessing to every nation and every culture on the face of the globe. His death and resurrection have brought blessing by turning “every one” of us away from our iniquities.
Are we any less the objects of His wondrous mercy and abounding grace? He sent Him to bless us!
- Notice that the margin of many Bibles change “Son” to “Servant” in verses 13 and 26. Think about why this is so.
- Notice all the titles and descriptions of the Lord Jesus in this chapter.
- How did God glorify His Son (v 13)? Is it just resurrection in view or is there more involved?___________________________________________________________