April 24 – Because He Lives – Everything’s Changed

Read Acts 3:1-4:22

It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. (4:10)

The first time we met them, they were Simon brother of Andrew, and John, James’ brother. Ordinary guys who caught fish for a living. No formal training or schooling under their belts. No pedigree or credentials to prove they were worth listening to. But they followed Jesus, and everything changed. Jesus even changed one’s name from Simon the Fisherman to “Peter the Rock.” (Jn. 1:42)

When we catch up with these two men in Acts, we find them changed. Transformed by the life of Jesus Christ. We see evidence of Jesus’ death-conquering life. When we look at Peter now, when we see John, the young man whom Jesus loved so, the somewhat quiet one who loves to fish and hang with the guys, we see two men boldly proclaiming the Risen Son of God. How can we not believe that His life, His Resurrection, has changed everything?

Remember that dreadful night not long before, when Peter followed John who followed Jesus into that courtyard? You know, the night when he saw Jesus on trial and pretended to not know Him? (Jn. 18:12-27) Well, this is that same man. Yep, this is the one who wanted to build a tent for Elijah and Moses and Jesus to hang out together for life. (See Mt. 9:2-29.) The same man we saw holding back the children who wanted to get close to Jesus, thinking he was protecting His Master for the more important tasks. Yet here he is, this man called Peter, right in front of the high priest’s counsel, proclaiming not just the Name, but the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (4:13)

Because He lives, lives have been changed. Not just the man who could now walk after having been crippled from birth, but the unschooled, ordinary men called Peter and John. Not just the people we read about in Scripture, but you and me, too. Captured by the truth and the life of Jesus Christ, Peter and John now preached boldly the new life they had because of Him, because He lives. Wherever they went, lives were changed by the Word of God. Spoken through His followers, lived through them.

And everything is different, because he lives.

Bria Wasson

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