All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.
12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate’s decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
16 “Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus’ name has healed him before your very eyes. – Acts 3:9-16
Perhaps you have discovered – as I have – that the anticipation of a great event is sometimes more fun and enjoyable than the event itself. You’re planning a wonderful vacation. You dream of the places you’ll see. You imagine the foods you’ll enjoy. You dream of the evening walks, the sunsets or sunrises, the mountain vistas or the ocean views. You can almost smell the leisurely breakfasts and taste the evening glass of wine.
The event comes along, and it’s great. Almost everything you imagined proved to be true. The food, sights, experiences are wonderful. But it seems that the event itself fades all too quickly. You can imagine and plan for weeks – perhaps even months. But the trip is over in 2 weeks – if you’re lucky. Now what? Back to work. Reality sets in. Bills to pay. Lawn to mow. Appointments to keep.
The people of the Old Testament looked forward to God’s ultimate deliverance for centuries. Fifteen hundred years before Jesus was born Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. From the moment that God first promised a Savior and for centuries thereafter the people waited. When would he come? How would he prevail? What would his reign look like?
Then Jesus comes. Little of what they expected came to pass. He was not the kind of king they expected. His apparent end was death by the cruelest form of Roman execution. But then he rose from the dead. He was alive. God vindicated him for his faithfulness, perfect obedience, and sacrificial love. Now he is exalted to the right hand of God. This is what had actually been promised. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all those who spoke for God pointed people toward this Jesus. He has come. He has fulfilled the promises of God.
This is one case where the wait was worth it. There was no disappointment once Jesus was fully vindicated. Even now we wait for the final consummation of God’s promises and kingdom. He will do as he has promises. From a human standpoint he has done the most difficult part. Soon will come the full and eternal experience of God’s faithfulness and promises. All the anticipation and preparations we are making will be fully realized. But the new will not wear off. The glory will not fade. The joy will not go away.
We have a picture of that reality in the healing of the lame beggar. We will have the full experience of it when Jesus returns on the Great Last Day. It will be worth the wait.