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.”
A Change of Heart
“Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Luke 23:18). On Good Friday, the hateful crowds chanted those words to Pilate. Fifty days later, they had had a change of heart. Now they were terrified. They wished they never had cried out for Jesus’ death.
God’s Word caused the people of the Pentecost crowd to change their hearts. The Holy Spirit, through Peter’s words, had changed the people’s attitudes about Jesus. Now they realized he was the Son of God, and they were guilty of condemning him to death. “What shall we do?” they pleaded. Is there some way we can appease God?
Our natural, sinful hostility may not be as blatant as that of the angry crowd on Good Friday. But make no mistake about it. It is just as real, just as damnable. The critical questioning of how God rules our lives, the lack of complete trust in his care, the thoughts of gaining independence from God—all these are signs that in us lives the same sinful flesh that lived in the people who killed Jesus.
God gives us a change of heart through the good news that Jesus’ death is the payment for sin that we needed. He appeased the wrath of God. Our guilt is removed. We are led to trust Jesus as our living Savior and honor him as our gracious Lord. And with hearts changed by the power of God’s Word, we strive to glorify and serve Jesus in all we do.
Lord Jesus, I am sorry for the sins I have committed against you. Have mercy on me. For your sake, forgive me and grant me a new heart committed to following your will for my life. Amen.