Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Acts Day 62 - One for all and all by One

3:24 Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. 25 You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”

Peter is standing in the temple court addressing the gathering crowd drawn by God through the healing of the lame man. He has two main points.

The first is that the Jewish people have ample evidence in their own sacred writings that Jesus is the One. Moses foretold Him. Samuel foretold Him. So did all the other prophets in ways large and small. This begs a question. How did they miss Him?

Do you remember what Jesus said about the Jews and their study of the Scriptures? "You search the Scriptures, thinking that in them you have eternal life. These testify of Me." John 5:39

So Jesus acknowledged that they were students of the Scriptures. A large part of Jewish education was the memorizing of large portions of Scripture. They knew what the writings said... sort of. The problem with all of us when we search is that we find what we are looking for. If we are searching for reasons to buy a new car we will find them. There may have been more and better reasons to buy a used car or maintain and keep the one we have but we weren't interested in those reasons. We weren't searching for those reasons. We were looking for reasons to be new and we found some. The rest? Never saw it.

We live in a culture full of studies. We create studies for everything. However it is rare to find a study that wasn't setting out to prove a point before the study ever began. We find what we are looking for.
When it comes to religion, we are searching for formulas, processes, even secret knowledge. We are looking for a set of steps that if strictly followed will bring us the favour of the gods, or in the case of Judaism, God. People searching for formulas and processes will never find a Person. That is not what they are looking for. Peter's first point is that the very sacred writings they have memorized are the very writings where He is to be found. He is challenging them to look again. To switch glasses. To see with new eyes. Jesus said it best when He said we look but we don't see and we listen but we don't hear. Be aware of the lenses you use. Dare to see beyond your own bias.

Peter's second point is much more elementary but no less shocking for the Jewish mind of the time. He traces the prophecies about Jesus right back to Abraham and exposes the reality that He is the Messiah for all nations. In Him ALL the world would be blessed!?!?

Peter do you mean the lowlife Samaritans? Yes. The demon possessed of Decapolis? Yes. The sick Sidonians, terrible people of Tyre, evil Egyptians and immoral Moabites? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. You seriously mean all nations? Yes. Does that include the Shiites and Sunnis and Kurds? What about North Korea? Communist China? I mean how far does this really stretch? Yes. All means all.

But Peter I can maybe accept that within these dark backwards sinister places there might be a person or two that is salvageable but what about your last statement. Surely you can't mean everyone.

Yes. Every. One. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world".

Every. One.

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