v 19 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead.
Remember we are reading of an event that was sharp in the memory of the people to whom Peter was speaking. There had been a collective shout of ‘Crucify him’ when Jesus was on trial, and in all probability some at least of those listening to Peter at this moment had been present when this happened. The verdict of the people had been to get rid of Jesus; God’s verdict was ‘He will rise again.’
For me, this emphasises the huge gulf between human opinions of Jesus and the value God the Father puts on him. If you speak to people today and ask for an opinion about the man Jesus you will come across a mass of contradictory ideas and even shrugged shoulders that convey the message ‘Who on earth cares anyway?’ But God has said ‘This is my Son.’
Jesus put the same question to the disciples early in his ministry (Luke 9) ‘One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiahsent from God!”’
Getting hold of the idea of who Jesus is remains the most basic element in any attempt to lead people to faith.