Devotion on Acts 3:11–21

11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “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? 13 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. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 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.

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 who must receive heaven until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. (Acts 3:11–21 ESV)

Jesus is the Author of Life. He is the God of the Old Testament. It wasn’t hard for the lame man to realize. Jesus restores life. He did all over the place. He took disease head on, taking them as His own, healing those who were sick, epileptics and paralytics. Whatever ailed people He healed. The demons and devil fled in His presence. He would cast them out, and they could never return. Death would give way to the sound of His voice, to the touch of His hand. How could these things not happen? He’s the author of life. What He formed once in the Garden of Eden, He could restore.

This the lame man more that realized. He lived it. Jesus, through the hand of Peter and John, healed this man. This was all done according to God’s plan and purpose. “What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.” This is how the Lord does things. He says He going to do it, and then He does it. Jesus came to restore the life He gave. He gives new life in Himself. There’s nothing else that Jesus does. He’s not a good teacher, a moral example. He’s not a life coach. He’s not a CEO. He’s not anything that we try to make. His religion isn’t one where the power of positive thinking holds the day. His religion isn’t one that condemns. His religion isn’t one where if you follow all the right steps and programs our lives will get better over time. His religion isn’t anything we make of it. He’s more than all these things. His religion more than all these things.

He’s the Prince and Author of Life. He is Life. He restores Life. He defeated the power of death with His death, and through His resurrection He’s opened to us the way of everlasting life. He’s the one who ascended and received all power and authority, being given a name that’s above every name, not only in this age but also in the age to come. Or as Peter puts it: “He must receive heaven.” Jesus Himself says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Jesus received heaven and all authority to do nothing other than what He’d been doing during His life on earth.

Peter talked about two times of refreshing and restoring. When God works repentance in our hearts and gives us forgiveness, then “times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Then we receive Jesus who comes to restore us to life and new life. He will enliven us with His Word. He gives us of His own life in His body and blood. For this reason we pray: “We gives thanks to You, Almighty God, that you have refreshed us through this salutary gift.” That’s what happens in the Supper. All our lives Jesus is authoring life within us through these means. But there’s more life to come in Christ Jesus for all who believe. Soon, on the last day, as Peter says here in acts “time for restoring all the things” will come. Then we will rise again from the dead. Our bodies with be restored, but, more than restored, they’ll be glorified by the power of the Spirit. There will be a new heavens and a new earth. God’s dwelling will be with us, and we’ll rejoice in the eternal wedding party of the Lamb.

This has always been God’s promise. Jesus promised it. He not only promised it; He gives it. He’s the Author of Life, the God of the Bible, and these are “all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” INI + AMEN.

Alleluia! Jesus is Risen (LSB 474)

O God, through the humiliation of Your Son You raised up the fallen world. Grant to Your faithful people, rescued from the peril of everlasting death, perpetual gladness and eternal joys; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Misericordias Domini)

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