The apostle Peter was one of the first witnesses to see Christ’s empty tomb. it changed his life forever. Fifty days after Christ was resurrected, Peter preached a short sermon to the people in Jerusalem which caused thousands to repent of the crucifixion and accept Jesus as the Messiah. If Peter was alive in our town, what would he say to us today?
People of Our Town, pay attention to this: Jesus of the past was the Savior, given by God to us, who performed many miracles, who revealed mysterious and eternal things, and who taught us amazing truths about God, which we have learned through the Holy Scriptures since we were children.
This Jesus was handed over to humanity by God’s will, for the purpose of rescuing humankind from sin, but we humans, through our own wickedness, envy, and fear, tortured and executed Him, by nailing Him to a shameful and horrifying cross.
But God would not forsake Jesus, nor would He allow His body to decompose in death; instead God freed Him from the finality, loneliness, and darkness of death, and raised Him bodily, so that it was impossible for Jesus to remain dead.
A thousand years before Christ lived, the Holy Scriptures told this about Him: The Lord will always exist and because He sits at the right hand of God, He will never be overcome, cast aside, nor forgotten.
Therefore, all human hearts may be glad and sing forever; our bodies and souls will experience an everlasting hope, because God will not abandon us to our graves, to dust, or ashes; nor will God ever let Christ be diminished throughout history, and across all of Time.
For God makes known to us, through Jesus Christ alone, the paths that lie ahead of us, which will fill us with happiness and confidence; for throughout our lives, we will always be in God’s presence.
Brothers and sisters, let me tell you confidently that the old kings and writers of the past, all died, were buried, and returned to dust. But they were prophets and they knew that God’s words and promises were true. They believed, and waited for the Promised One to come and be the Ruler of the Earth
And all of these prophecies and promises were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who was resurrected from death; He was not trapped beneath the earth, nor did His body lie a-moldering in His grave. God raised this Jesus to real, abundant, and eternal life, and there were many witnesses to that amazing fact.
Jesus was totally honored by God for what he accomplished with His life, His death, and His resurrection. He is now enthroned with God, for all of eternity. His Spirit remains and influences the entire world. Billions of people on earth are changed by His power, presence, and personal connection to them.
Even although the people who lived before Jesus did not go to heaven before He came, they still believed that He would come and change the world. He would become the Lord of all God’s people. His reign would never end and those who opposed Him would never be able to overcome Him.
Therefore, people of our town, be assured and certain of this: God made Jesus, whom we crucified and killed, the Lord of all Creation and the King of the Universe.
As we hear these challenging words, our hearts should be pierced because of our faithless ways and unholy lives. We should be ashamed of our sins and fearful of God’s wrath. We should be perplexed about how we have often offended God by taking Him for granted and neglecting to honor His Son. And if Peter were actually here, we would be asking him, “What can we do?”
To which Peter would reply: be sincerely sorry for being disrespectful to God, get baptized, and truly seek to immerse your life in the knowledge, worship, and service of Jesus Christ. Without these, your sins can never be forgiven; with these, you will be sent the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and counsel you throughout your entire life.
And this promise of God’s goodwill, mercy, and grace will be for you, your children, and grandchildren, and for many generations to come. This is the calling of the Lord. Hear it and obey Him.
Peter would have us listen to his words, both encouraging and cautioning us at the same time. And above all, he would make this plea: “Save yourselves from this corrupt world.”
If we accept the message of the Gospel, by truly believing in Christ who was raised from the dead, then we will be eternally added to Christ’s Eternal Church and everlasting Kingdom on this Easter Day, and forevermore. Amen.