When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:37–39)
Over the years, these words from Peter have shown me the depths of the gospel in amazing ways. Simply put, Peter’s words remind me (and all of us) that you cannot out-sin the forgiveness available at the cross.
Think about what is going on in this text. Peter is preaching a sermon to the very ones who crucified Jesus. As they hear the sermon, they are cut to the heart and asked, “What should we do?” In other words, if what this preacher is saying is true, what hope do we have? How are we going to fix this?” Notice what Peter did not say. He did not say, “Well, it’s too late. You’ve messed up too much. You killed the Messiah. There is simply no hope. Your sin is too great.”
Now, linger over what Peter does say. Instead of condemnation, he offers grace. Instead of a hopeless word, he holds out the offer of forgiveness. He looks at those who murdered Jesus and tells them they can be saved. The depth of the gospel is deeper than the sin of murdering the Son of God. Is that not stunning?
And if that is true, then imagine the hope there is for you and me! Rejoice in the forgiveness that is available to our kids and families. Tell of the mercy that is free for our neighbors and the nations!
No matter who you are, or what you’ve done, there is still grace and forgiveness available if you will simply turn to Christ. No matter how long that friend or family member has run from Christ, no matter how bad your neighbor seems to be, no matter the wickedness of the stranger’s heart, the cross is enough.
You simply cannot out-sin the cross.