Spike Milligan wrote the inscription for his headstone himself,
I told you I was ill.
How many times, do we have cause to say to people, ‘I told you so’. I told you if you did x then y would happen; I told you if you wore that you would be cold; I told you if we elected that political party this would happen; I told you that would get you into trouble…
And how we like to be proved right!
12 Peter saw that a crowd had gathered, and he said:
Friends, why are you surprised at what has happened? Why are you staring at us? Do you think we have some power of our own? Do you think we were able to make this man walk because we are so religious? 13 The God that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and our other ancestors worshipped has brought honour to his Servant Jesus. He is the one you betrayed. You turned against him when he was being tried by Pilate, even though Pilate wanted to set him free.
14 You rejected Jesus, who was holy and good. You asked for a murderer to be set free, 15 and you killed the one who leads people to life. But God raised him from death, and all of us can tell you what he has done. 16 You see this man, and you know him. He put his faith in the name of Jesus and was made strong. Faith in Jesus made this man completely well while everyone was watching.
17 My friends, I am sure that you and your leaders didn’t know what you were doing. 18 But God had his prophets tell that his Messiah would suffer, and now he has kept that promise. 19 So turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven.
Peter asks the crowd why they are surprised at what has happened. Why are they surprised that a lame man is able to walk? Jesus – who they had rejected, persecuted and killed – was indeed raised from death by God – and this man being healed is part of the ongoing proof of that.
Jesus had said it would happen – so why are they surprised.
This is part of the developing story that Jesus was not just a good man, who told some good stories with great morals. He wasn’t an extraordinary preacher, who gave some good sermons. He was God’s son, he still is God’s son, and he continues to have an effect in the world.
As we come to the end of the Lent and Easter accounts, we can soon forget and go back to our lives as they were. The disciples must have thought that was what was going to happen to them when Jesus died, but no, there is more. Jesus said so, and that is the case. Why would we be surprised that Jesus is not just alive, but still doing things – if we let him.
Thank you Lord,
that the death of Jesus was not the end,
that he continues to live
in our world and in our lives.
Help me to let you