“Friends, I realise that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that He must suffer these things. Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may b e wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through His holy prophets. Moses said, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything He tells you.’ Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’ “Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, ‘Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.’ When God raised up His servant, Jesus, He sent Him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.”Acts 3:17-26
Peter’s speech begins objectively and with passing reference to the healing of the man they all knew. Basically his point is don’t be surprised at this happening. Nor think that it was John and I on our own who accomplished it. This was all fore-ordained. It is all part of God’s bigger picture. (I have wondered if the ordering of “you” and “your leaders” is significant. It could be that the leaders were left in the final position to heighten their culpability but I won’t swear to that. It could be a possibility.) More to the point, your action and that of your leaders was done in ignorance. It is not ignorance that was totally blameless. You ought to have known of these things. They are recorded in your book. You too dear reader, are not blameless. They are there in plain sight for all to see in the Bible. We are not blameless when we who choose to set higher priorities on other things in preference to reading the Scriptures. We are culpable in our ignorance.
God was merely carrying out to the letter, the things He told us related to His Messiah. Yes, literally the text reads His Messiah, not the Messiah. A more natural reading might be – God fulfilling what He foretold about the Messiah. But the statement is stronger than that. This all related to God’s Messiah. It is God’s plan and He is taking care of the outcome. The end result must be that His Messiah must suffer the things that were predicted about Him. Throughout this whole saga God was intimately involved with what was happening to His Christ. “These things” are placed in the final place of emphasis in the sentence. All of what happened was supposed to happen. All part of God’s plan. This statement may well add another dimension to the nature or depth of their ignorance. They were oblivious of the fact that they were pawns in the light of God’s wider purposes. Oh, they were guilty but they were players in a drama that God was working out to His purpose. Nothing thwarts the purposes and will of God. That is not to infer that the Bible holds the Jews to be anymore guilty that any other nation. It is not an anti-Jewish sentiment but rather a rebuke for those whose Sacred Book contained the message and the contrastive degree to which they missed the point, despite having been told clearly. It is the same tone used in Romans 9-11 (especially 11) which contains a rebuke for the Jewish nation who missed God’s grace and salvation. But also which contains a warning for the Gentiles not to consider themselves beyond reproach and neglect the fact that they too are in danger of being cut off, in the same way the root stock were if they neglected the grace of God.
Given that insight people, repent of your sins and turn to God. For the detail related to these terms you will need to go back to Gem 1371 to 1374. If you do turn your life around and follow God and confess your sin and your ways that are not in accord with God’s ways, then your wrong doing will be wiped away and forgotten. In its place you will receive times of refreshment from God’s Presence. Of course God’s Presence is now represented by the Holy Spirit which has just been so dramatically poured upon them. This healing they have just witnessed is part of the outpouring promised by the prophets. The term [exaleipo] translated here as “wiped away” is possibly better translated “blotted out”. The root means to obliterate, smear out. It comes from the word [aleipo] which has at its essence a word related to oils which are used in painting but in this case the concept is to white out or to black out, blot out. It carries the idea of your sins written in a book which have now been painted over by oil paint.
Another interesting word worthy of note here is the word [anapsuxis] which is translated here as refreshment. Its literal meaning is “cooling” or “coolness”. The refreshing which comes from cooling waters on a hot day. How appropriate for the Holy Spirit who is synonymous with the outpouring of living water. It is the cool refreshing water of everlasting life which flows from the Holy Spirit which results in rest or refreshment. It is the spiritual strength and refreshment which comes as a result of being connected with the Holy Spirit or having Him indwelling you. The fountain of living water with bubbles up with springs of refreshing. It could refer to spiritual refreshing resulting from the out-pouring of the Spirit as a result of Pentecost. Or it refers to that which will occur by virtue of the Presence of Lord Himself when He comes again. Now which Coming is being referred to here? There is a rather complex construction of thought here which needs some unpacking. But the sense in the translation above is that it relates to the sending again of Jesus, your appointed Messiah – The Second Coming. Note the following clause – for He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things. Clearly what is to come is following the time remaining-in-heaven.
Allow me to pull it apart for you and I will try not to lose you in the process. The complexity of the next part is one reason why people question whether the speeches of Peter have really been crafted by a fisherman.[prokecheirismenon] God fore-appointed (designated or destined) Jesus to be your Messiah before time – found in the majority of versions – translated variously as designated, appointed, marked out, ordained,
or[prokekerugmenon] God publicly proclaimed beforehand Jesus as your Messiah – found in KJV derivative versions and the TR (Textus Receptus) – translated variously as preached, proclaimed.
This action of appointing or designating Jesus as Messiah was foreordained from eternity. It was always God’s intention that His Son become your Messiah. This notion of foreordaining comes from the pro of the verb if the verb is ordained or appointed. But if the meaning is preached or proclaimed then most feel the pro carries the sense of “telling forth”. I.e. not pre set in time but told forth. I don’t agree as I think the appointment or the proclamation could still carry the sense of having taken place before the appearance of Jesus as Messiah. But there is huge debate about this in theological circles. I personally favour the pre-ordained or pre-appointed option. The flow of this action of appointing or proclaiming continues on in time. It is not just limited to the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth. Notice the combination of thought contained in two verses here.
- your appointed Messiah.
- For He must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things
Christ was ordained to come the first time and suffer (Messiah the son of Joseph) but He has also been appointed to come again as the reigning Messiah (son of David). He was appointed also to remain in heaven until the time is right for the restoration of all things. This was pre-set to happen until the set time [chronos] for God to restore all things. Now what does that mean? Again there are two meanings contained in the verb [apokatastasis]. Either the sense is to “restore” or to “establish” the right order. In other words a restoration or reconstitution of things as they were meant to be. Returning them to their former state. Or the verb means to establish the state of all things to be in line with what God originally intended. There is a subtle but important difference between the two senses. Either when Christ comes back the second time everything will be restored to the original state of Eden when everything was perfect, or He will establish the kingdom in such a way as to fulfil God’s original intention which was not accomplished in Eden.
The restoration of all things carries the sense of every sphere of life that you can think of. Everything related to the creation and the world as God intended it. Everything related to the world of mankind, everything related to the spiritual world from the highest heights to the deepest depths. But more especially, there will be a full and complete restoration of the inner life of men and women and the moral side of their lives. People’s hearts will be restored to obedience to God. In that state then the purity of love as God intended it and the state of righteousness will be returned to the Edenic state before the fall.
There is more in this passage related to the proclamation by the prophets from of old and the significance of that. But I am going to leave that as the subject for the last Gem on this chapter. This Gem has already grown too long so it is time to bring it to a close and leave the remainder for another day.
Let it all go and have a life that isn’t dictated by a past. (from Saving Mr. Banks)Walt Disney
Do you realise it is only in Christ that you are freed from your past? There’s no need to be afraid of Freedom!Anon
Step back and take in the full panorama of what God has appointed for your future and be amazed.Anon
Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear.Anon
When you blame others you give up your power to change. Take responsibility for your future!Chris Voss