Friday, January 6, 2012

The Name of Jesus

Acts 3:11-26

Peter preaches another powerful sermon. The message is about Jesus.
The name of Jesus is: 

The Jewish people and their leaders rejected Jesus. He was the Prince of Life but they chose instead a murderer, Barabbas. What an unthinkable rejection! By rejecting the name of Jesus they were rejecting life. And still many would rather choose the one who comes to "kill, steal, and destroy" than the Prince of Life. Those who choose to follow Jesus bear the rejection that comes with the name. Jesus told his disciples not to be surprised if they were hated and rejected.

But God has raised him up! Jesus was approved of God by many signs and wonders. Finally, he was ultimately approved by his resurrection from the dead. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, reigning with him. So it is with everyone who takes Jesus as their own, obediently following him. Even if they are despised and rejected by humans they will finally be vindicated and exalted by God himself.

None other could do the miracles Jesus did. Then he departed, taken into Heaven. Now the same signs follow those who believe and exercise faith in his name. There is no other name that brings healing to those born crippled -- only the name of Jesus.

Jesus was promised from the beginning. He fulfilled the predictions of the prophets. His suffering was a crime against all that is right and good. Yet it was all part of God's plan. Jesus was God's answer to human needs.

Moses spoke of a prophet to whom all must either give heed or perish. That prophet is Jesus. His name is the name at which every knee shall bow. Everyone will confess that he is Lord. By the authority in the name of Jesus we continue, just like Peter and the other Apostles, to command people to repent. Jesus still has authority to forgive sins and will judge humanity in the last day.

Jesus is seed promised to Abraham. His name is a Jewish name, Joshua (or Yeshua), meaning Savior. He was sent to save his people from their sins. He was sent first to the Jews. Peter's sermon was preached to Jews. Jesus is a Jewish name. But also a human name. Jesus is the One in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed.

Jesus was sent to bless us. How was he to bless us? By turning us away from our iniquities. Jesus came to "save his people from their sins." We do well to remember that the wonderful grace of Jesus is grace that brings repentance. His name is powerful enough to enable you to quit sinning.