Sermon for 04.14.24 “More amazing than a miracle”

EASTER 3, APRIL 14, 2024
Text: Acts 3:11–21
Theme: More amazing than a miracle
Other Lessons: Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1–7; Luke 24:36–49

(A) In the Name of the Father…Amen.
(B) The first reading serves as our sermon text for this morning.
(C) Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
(D) Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
Gracious and Almighty God, we come before You, inspired by the words of
Peter in Acts 3, where he speaks not of his own power or piety but of Your
strength and sovereignty that made the lame man walk.
As Peter redirected the people’s awe from himself to Jesus Christ, the
source of true healing and salvation, we too focus our hearts on You,
recognizing that every good gift comes from Your hand.
Lord, we are reminded of our own need for repentance and turning back to
You, just as Peter urged the people of Jerusalem.
Help us to turn from our evil ways that lead away from You and to embrace
fully the life and redemption You offer through Jesus Christ, whom You
raised from the dead.
As we gather here today, may we, like the early believers, be filled with
boldness to proclaim the truth of Your power and compassion.
Empower us by Your Spirit to be agents of healing and transformation in a
world that yearns for Your touch.
Open our eyes to see the opportunities You lay before us to speak of Your
goodness and to act in ways that bring Your kingdom here on earth as it is
in heaven.
(E) Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.


(A) Miracles sure attracted the crowds.
(1) Peter and John healed a lame man in the temple, and wow!—everybody came
(2) And who wouldn’t?
(3) I think all of us would.
(4) An amazing thing had happened, really impressive, but in Peter’s sermon
that followed—our text for today—another amazing thing took place, and
actually even more amazing than the miracle.
(5) God offered the forgiveness of sins to those who had killed Jesus!
(B) Yes, More Amazing than a Miracle, God Offers Forgive­ness to All.
(1) It’s impossible to imagine any sin worse than killing the Author of
(A) Let’s think about this for a moment.
(1) Who was Jesus?
a) He is God Himself, become true man in order to save us.
b) And in His ministry, what did He do?
1) He helped people:
a) Healing their diseases,
b) Casting out their demons,
c) Raising the dead,
d) And forgiving the sins of people, especially the sins of tax collectors
and sinners who knew so well that they needed it.
2) Did Jesus do anything that deserved death?
3) No. Not at all.
4) Even the conflicted governor Pontius Pilate knew he was innocent and
planned to release Him.
(B) So what happened?
(1) The leaders were jealous and resented Jesus’ rebukes to their pride and
(2) He was seen as a menace to their positions and power, so He had to go.
(3) And the people?
a) Well, on Palm Sunday they hailed Jesus as a hero, but just a few days
later, they were screaming out:
Mark 15:13 (NASB95)
13 They shouted back, “Crucify Him!”
b) Instead of choosing Jesus, they chose Barabbas, a murderer.
c) They wanted the Author of life dead.
d) And they got what they asked for.
e) Peter declared:
Acts 3:14–15 (NASB95)
14 “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to
be granted to you,
15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the
dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.
(C) Can you imagine a worse sin than that of crucifying the Son of God?!
(1) Even Adam and Eve’s choosing a piece of fruit at the price of death
does not seem so bad as crucifying the Son of God!
(2) So if anybody deserved hell, it was these very people to whom Peter was
(3) But instead of delivering God’s curse, what does Peter say?
Acts 3:19 (NASB95)
19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in
order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
(4) Sins:
a) wiped out,
b) erased,
c) gone for good.
(5) That is what forgiveness is all about:
a) Sins gone for good!
(2) The resurrection is Christ’s victory over every sin, even the worst.
(A) Forgiveness for their sin or any sin is possible for one reason
only—the kind of God that God is.
(1) For when Adam and Eve sinned first and then all the rest of us followed
right along to fill up the measure of man’s wickedness, God acted to save.
(2) His mercy and love were greater than the sin of Peter’s hearers
a) even greater than the sin of killing God’s Son.
b) And His mercy and love are greater than our sin.
(B) Not only did He promise—starting with Adam and Eve—that He would save
us sinners from the punishment we deserved, He also kept his promise and
sent His Son, who did die, but on the third day rose again.
(1) Jesus was:
a) the great sin-bearer (our sin),
b) and the great conqueror of death(our death, our punishment, our hell!).
c) But when He arose from the grave:
1) He had won.
2) It is finished (Chinese: I won)
3) Not sin, not death, and not the devil had won, but Jesus had won.
4) Sin had been blotted out.
5) And that was what Peter was offering even to those who had killed Jesus:
a) the very worst sin, conquered and wiped clean in Jesus’ resurrection.
(3) The resurrection is Christ’s victory over every sin, even yours.
(A) Some sins seem too big to forgive.
(1) There are many of us here—maybe all of us—who have a sin too big to
(2) Perhaps it’s something really embarrassing or something really
scandalous that nobody knows about except us, and we can’t forget.
(3) Or maybe it’s a recurring sin that we can’t get over.
(4) We do it again and again and again.
Romans 7:15–20 (NASB95)
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I
would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.
16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law,
confessing that the Law is good.
17 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the
willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that
I do not want.
20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one
doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
(5) Sins like these can:
a) trouble us,
b) haunt us,
c) refuse to leave us alone . . . but do leave us wondering:
d) Does God really forgive this sin?
(B) Yes, He does!
(1) That is the answer found in our text for this morning.
(2) There is no sin too big to forgive even if we never forget it.
(3) God:
a) forgave David, an adulterer and murderer.
b) forgave Paul, who persecuted Christians.
c) forgave Peter, who denied him three times.
1) It was this same Peter who held out forgiveness and times of refreshing
from God, who would send Jesus back and restore all things to these very
people who had “killed the Author of life.”
(C) Yes, they killed Jesus, but He didn’t stay dead!


(A) When he was almost fifty years old, Pastor Henry Gerike joined the army
to serve as a Lutheran chaplain during World War II.
(1) He served capably and competently during the war, but his most notable
service occurred afterward.
(2) He was chaplain to the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg.
(3) This was an assignment that he dreaded to take because, after all, he
would be ministering to men accused and then convicted of the most
atrocious war crimes, involving the deaths of millions.
(4) Some of the Allied officers at Nuremberg resented his ministry.
(5) They wanted to send the prisoners straight to hell.
(6) But Gerike did it because Christ had died for all, even the Nazis.
(7) He conducted services and invited all to come.
(8) Some did.
(9) Gerike prayed with them, heard their confessions, communed four of them
in order to assure them that Christ’s blood had washed away even their
(10) He walked to the gallows with some, and with Wilhelm Keitel, head of
the German high command, just before his execution, he prayed aloud a
prayer that both had learned from their mothers.
(11) That’s how amazing God’s forgiveness is.
(12) Christ’s resurrection proclaims his victory over all sins, including
those of Nazi war criminals (Acts 3:11–14, 19–20).
(B) What is God’s answer to sin?
(1) Easter!
(2) It is His answer to your sin, my sin, all of it.
(3) And there’s a lot of it.
(4) The whole world is full of sin, and history is its record.
(5) But there is something greater than sin, and it’s a part of history
(6) For God:
(1) almighty and all gracious
(2) has entered our world in the person of his Son to redeem us
(3) to die and to rise again, and to blot out all our sins.
(4) And that, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, is really amazing! Amen.
(C) Let us pray:
We pray for the humility to acknowledge our sins and the courage to forsake
May our hearts be turned towards You in every action we take and every word
we speak.
Guide us in Your ways, that our lives might bear witness to the
life-changing power of Your grace and the hope of the resurrection.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who with You and the
Holy Spirit, reigns in power and glory forever. Amen.
(D) Hebrews 13:20–21 (NASB95)
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of
the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which
is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
(E) Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.
(F) In the Name of the Father…Amen.