His Ways Are So Far Above Ours
Peter continues his sermon with good news for his Jewish hearers: Even though they were guilty of killing the “Author of life,” God counts them as having acted in ignorance as did their rulers. This is reminiscent of our Lord’s words from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). The fact that our Lord, shall we say, makes excuses for us or excuses our most blatant sins, is proof again of our Lord’s amazing grace (also see Acts 17:30). However, always bear this in mind: God’s grace is no reason to test Him (Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7; Galatians 6:7). The purpose of God’s grace is to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). And this is exactly what Peter was telling the people: “Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out …”
But then Peter adds, “… that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” And then Peter goes on to rehearse the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures through Christ beginning with Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) through Samuel and all the prophets (Luke 24:27), and then going all the way back to Abraham and the promise that through his offspring (Christ Jesus) all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3).
And what does all of this tell us but that the coming of the Lord – his life, death, and resurrection – was all for the purpose of bringing us back from the dead through repentance unto life in a wonderfully and newly restored world. The world was perfect until we defiled it by our sin, so that now even the creation itself groans to be “set free from its bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:21-22). And one day it will be, when the Father sends the Christ again. Then shall the world experience a glorious renewal, not a complete remake, but a restoration unto even greater glory than was in the Garden. And the reason for its restoration is because that’s what shall happen to us. We shall not be recreated brand new but restored, these present bodies of ours being the seed for the glorious bodies under the realm of the spirit that is to come (1 Corinthians 15:35-49). This was the plan of redemption from the very beginning: that God would redeem a people fallen away, that He would even tell them of it beforehand by his holy prophets, and that He would finally accomplish that plan through His own Son. God’s ways are so far above ours, and isn’t that wonderful (Isaiah 55:8-9)!