This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
This statement may seem like a simple one, but in light of past events, we understand that there is great boldness in the words of the apostle Peter in our text. Remember, it had only been a little over a month before that we read of him, “Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!'” He that vehemently denied even knowing the Lord now proclaims himself to be a witness to the fact that Christ has been raised from the dead. What a difference the indwelling Spirit makes in a man!
Have you ever considered how very alone the Lord Jesus was as he walked upon the earth? How often did He turn to those close to Him and reveal His inmost thoughts, and yet we read that they “did not understand”? (Lk 9:45, Jn 8:27, 10:6) It wasn’t until after His resurrection and ascension that the light finally came on for the disciples! (Jn 12:16) Even as a child, when He spoke of being about His Father’s business, we read that Joseph and Mary “did not understand the statement which He spoke to them”. (Lk 2:50) We’ve felt out-of-sync with others before but never with everyone!
Not only was He spiritually and mentally alone, but He was left physically alone at the cross. Where were the multitudes now that had begged for His healing touch, of whom we find “He healed them all”? (Mk 12:15) Where were the crowds that had shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” as He entered Jerusalem? (Mt 21:9) We even read that the disciples, those closest to Him, “all forsook Him and fled” when He was carried away to bear His cross. Jesus was left alone.
But, the truth is that it had to be this way. Jesus had to bear this load alone for no one else could accomplish what He came to do. In this low place, He would encourage Himself in His relationship with His Father. “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (Jn 16:32) But, upon Calvary’s hill, He would even cry, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” (Mt 27:46) We don’t understand what it means to be that alone!
Understanding what He willingly did, what He alone could do, is He not worthy of all our glory, honor, and praise? Heb 1:3 says of the Son of God, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” He did it all by Himself!! We have a singular purpose now if the Spirit of God dwells in us. We, like Peter, “are all witnesses”! Peter, who had previously run and hid and then denied the Christ, now claimed Him boldly as Lord of all because he finally fully understood, by the Spirit, just Who Christ was and what He came to do. Have you seen the same truth? Then sing that new song along with all the saints, “You are worthy…and have redeemed us to God by Your blood” because we couldn’t do it ourselves! (Rev 5:9) There is hope in no other…