4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Arrested for healing a lame man. Does that make any sense? Of course this is not about a lame man being healed. This is about the impotent leaders trying desperately to save face and regain control of their religion and the nation. They can't afford to have these fishermen hanging out at the temple performing miracles.
Now notice what Peter says in response to their interrogation. There is no attempt at self-preservation. It is quite likely that Peter and John believed this could be their last day alive. They already had front row seats when their leaders killed Jesus. Jesus had warned them that what they did to Him would indicate what they would do to them. Given the dire and dangerous circumstances one would expect them to either say nothing or at least say something that might limit the damage.
Not Peter. He opens with sarcasm and then goes straight to the point. "Look if we've been arrested for doing a good deed in healing a lame man (sarcasm) you need to know exactly how it happened. He was healed by Jesus, the very same Jesus you rejected and killed. The very same Jesus that God raised from the dead."
Then Peter invokes some sanctuary language. Solomon built the first permanent temple/sanctuary from stone. The temple where this story is unfolding was known as Herod's Temple. The one Solomon built in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians centuries before. These massive stone structures began with a single stone. Huge stones cut perfectly square were stacked in an overlapping pattern beginning with that single stone called the corner stone. Great care was taken to make sure that stone was square and that it was sitting perfectly level on a firm base at exactly the right angle. If it was off in any way the whole building would be out of square and ruined because every stone was set in line with the chief corner stone.
From the Garden of Eden God foretold that One would come who would crush the serpent's head. The promise of that One called the Seed, and the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Branch, the Root and Offspring of David was passed on from generation to generation. All their hopes ultimately rested in Him and on Him.
Peter is standing before the most powerful men in the Jewish nation and without flinching tells them that they murdered the One. He wraps up his pointed words with the stark reminder that there is no other One.
Sadly many Jews to this day are still waiting for another One. Many others are looking for some other hope, some other theory, some other way forward to a better tomorrow. Others have searched. No other way has been found. Steven Hawking despite his insistence there is no God insists the only hope for this planet is to find another one to live on. Ironic isn't it?
As a single forest fire has sent an entire city fleeing for safety I am reminded how powerless we are; how much we need Someone bigger than us. Peter found Him. Peter wanted everyone else to find Him too. That's why he didn't care if he died as long as the Truth was told.