v 19 Peter said ‘Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.’
The call to repentance is a significant element of the Good News.
Right at the end of chapter 2, which we read yesterday, you find these words ‘Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.‘ The issues of sin and repentance cannot be overlooked – once people hear about Jesus and resurrection there comes a realisation that some kind of response is called for.
Sin and repentance are not exactly favourite topics for preaching and discussion nowadays – but they are vital elements in the process of telling people about Jesus.
Sin has wrecked the possibility of a relationship with God that will take us through death and into the bright eternity He has prepared for His people. He calls for repentance – indeed Jesus did just the same in His opening sermon reported in Mark 1 ‘Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” ‘Repentance, faith and following Jesus go hand in hand. You simply cannot follow Jesus through death and into a joyful eternity unless you are willing to turn around from sin and then believe and accept Jesus’ offer of eternal life.