God exalted Jesus to his own right hand as Prince and Saviour that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.
Do you ever find yourself wondering why you’re doing something? Sometimes when I’m at work my boss asks me to do something which seems to me to have no purpose whatsoever. I get on with it, of course, but am left wondering what the point of this particular task is. The same was true when I was at school. I went to a school where I had to study Latin, but I really did not see the point. Now, of course, I understand why Latin is useful to know, and I wish that I had tried harder in my lessons!
There was no doubt at all as to what Jesus’ mission was. God was in no doubt at all as to why he sent his only son to Earth. Jesus was in no doubt as to his task. And now the apostles clearly have no doubt about the reason for Jesus living amongst them. This is expressed very clearly in this quote from Peter’s speech to the Sanhedrin after they find themselves up before them once again. When Jesus ascended into heaven, God brought him to his right hand to rule with him. Jesus rules with God as his Crown Prince, his son, who is given responsibility over all things. God also raised Jesus to be Saviour, saving the souls of all his people. He was Saviour so that he could give repentence and forgiveness of sins. As a consequence of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he has the authority to wipe our sins away – if we ask for forgiveness. In this verse Peter specifies that Jesus has authority to take away the sins of the people of Israel, since these were the people the Sanhedrin were most concerned about. Since Jesus himself commanded the apostles to “make disciples of all nations,” however, we can be confident that Jesus can forgive all peoples, and not just the Jewish people.
This short verse hidden away in Acts 5, which doesn’t even get a mention in my study Bible, seems to me to be tremendously powerful, and to encapsulate the gospel message in just a few words. Give thanks today that God has made Jesus the Saviour, who can give repentence and forgive our sins!