Peter said to the people: ‘You are Israelites, and it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, who has glorified his servant Jesus, the same Jesus you handed over and then disowned in the presence of Pilate after Pilate had decided to release him. It was you who accused the Holy One, the Just One, you who demanded the reprieve of a murderer while you killed the prince of life. God, however, raised him from the dead, and to that fact we are the witnesses.
‘Now I know, brothers, that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing; this was the way God carried out what he had foretold, when he said through all his prophets that his Christ would suffer. Now you must repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.’
In the years since, we have become very used to the distinction between Jew and Christian, a distinction sometimes enforced with horrifying results.
In this passage Peter speaks to his own people, his own generation: a Jew who believes in the Resurrection of Jesus to those who do not; and he speaks to. He places the greater blame on the leadership – always something quite easy to do.
But all are called to repentance, to turn from what is false and destructive and back to what is true and good and healing.
That call is extended to all in our age, leaders and led, those who think themselves in the right, and those who fear that that they may be in the wrong.
God’s love is for all.
- What sins in yourself do you wish to have wiped away? What step to God might you take that can assist in this?
- What sins in others do you think they should repent of? What steps might you take that would make it easier for them to repent?
Photograph of Jubilee Bell, Assisi. (c) Allen Morris, 2014.