Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

One without the other

 "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."  (Acts 2:36)

With these words Peter brings to conclusion the first Christian sermon.  

And he drops a bomb: "You killed God."

But the thing is, the people Peter is preaching to probably did not kill Jesus, at least not literally.  Jesus had died nearly two months earlier.  Perhaps there were some of the priests hanging around and listening to Peter.  We are told, however, that there are 3000 baptized that day.  Most of those people had nothing to do with the death of Jesus.  

Except that they did.  The crowds gathered to hear Peter preach in their own native tongues were the cause of Jesus' death, not because they drove in the nails, but because they were enemies of God.

They were sinners.  It was their fault.

You see, we cannot have one without the other.  We cannot receive from the hand of God forgiveness, life, and salvation, grace and every blessing, without first admitting that we are responsible for the death of Christ.

Those of us who are Gentiles must especially remember this.  It is easy to blame "the Jews" for the death of Jesus.  But salvation is through the Jews.  

This means that if we want the salvation that Peter proclaims to the Jews in Acts 2:38-39 we must first enter through the door of their collective guilt.  We must first admit that we too are responsible for the death of Jesus.

This Jesus whom I crucified. 

This Jesus dies, rises, ascends, lives, for me

This Jesus whom you crucified.

This Jesus dies, rises, ascends, lives, for you.

You cannot have one without the other.

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