The first two chapters of Acts sees the kingdom of Jesus breaking in & bringing unsettling change in a spectacular way with a new agenda of the kingdom extending beyond Jerusalem to Judaea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. The foundations of the kingdom has shifted from the 12 tribes of Israel to the 12 apostles who are the authoritative witnesses to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, commissioned by him to be his messengers to the ends of the earth (Luke 22:28- 30; Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14).
There’s been a new outpouring of the Spirit, a new community that has a whole new set of values, a new King and a new centre point instead of the temple in the old covenant – Jesus Christ, risen and ascended, reigning over all.
The agenda now is not Restoration or Transformation but Proclamation of the Kingdom with the Holy Spirit as the absolute, essential empowerer: You killed Him, God raised Him, We saw Him.
The Occasion (Acts 3:1-11)
The miraculous healing is a sign that points to the perfect restoration.
Firstly, we are meant to think the work of Jesus is carrying on – the continuing acts of Jesus - his authoritative apostles are carrying on the work he’s been doing.
Secondly, also meant to go to the future restoration – this sign-miracle is a promise that one day Jesus will return and perfect health, perfect restoration, perfect relationship will happen uniformly.
Death represents the great FULL STOP to all the aspirations, dreams and desires to be fulfilled. The Christian looks forward to a moment AFTER death or after Jesus’ return, when the restoration of all things will come about. Our great hope is beyond death.
An Explanation and an Accusation (Acts 3:12-16)
In v12-16, Peter insists that God’s resurrection power has been unleashed in this crippled man, that Jesus, and Jesus alone had done it.
Any version of Christianity that wants to put someone in front of Jesus Christ has missed the point. The glory, the focus must always go to Jesus.
An Explanation and A Command (Acts 3:17-21)
God has appointed Lord Jesus, by his death and resurrection, to be the restorer of all things.
The command: Repent!
Again and again, the prophets of the Old Testament promised a day when God’s eternal king will raise the dead, to judgment, and restore all things (Isaiah 25:7,8; Daniel 12:2; Ezekiel 37:4-6)
Jesus is the author of life, the trail blazer of life, the one who, on his own, makes possible the resurrection of the dead that is at the center of God’s promises for his people. It is not the temple anymore that is the centre point of God’s plans. It is now Jesus Christ.
It means that no longer do we need to go to a geographical location to experience the blessings of God. We do not need to go back to Jerusalem or to rebuild Jerusalem if we are going to encounter God’s blessings. Rather we need to just come to Jesus and anyone, anywhere, at any time can do that.
An Explanation and A Warning (Acts 3:22-26)
Peter is saying is that the public resurrection of Jesus challenges every other way of seeing the world. The resurrection of Jesus means that Jesus stands at the end of history – that he is the author of life. He’s the one who will someday summon every single man, woman & child from their grave – some to everlasting judgment, some to everlasting life.
If you won’t turn to Jesus, Moses, Abraham himself, Samuel & all the prophets warn you – that you’ve missed the boat!