The Jews were a self-righteous people. They prided themselves in having Abraham as their father, boasted of their special relationship to God, and reveled in ceremony and customs. A proud Jew was a common sight in Jerusalem. But on the day of Pentecost, Peter delivered a convicting and devastating blow to that pride.
With laser-like accuracy Peter charged them of a particular sin—the crucifixion of Christ. They had refused Him as the Messiah, hounded Him throughout His earthly ministry, falsely accused Him before Pilate, and demanded His death. While the Roman soldiers carried it out, Jewish hands were all over His crucifixion. And Peter did not miss the point. This was no easy task for the apostle-preacher. He was standing before his own countrymen, but he came right to the heart of their guilt.
There are times when the preacher must preach hard words. Sin needs to be exposed. The sharp sword of the Spirit must be thrust in again and again so that the guilt of sin can be revealed and the sinner made to sense his sin. This is not an easy or popular task. Raw nerves are often hit and angry responses usually follow, but faithfulness to God and love to souls will allow no other approach. Peter’s message was owned of God for it was followed by the conversion of over 3,000 souls. Pray for the convicting of God in the preaching of His Word—it is to be desired, not despised. It is the work of God in the pulling down of the strongholds of sin in the life (2 Corinthians 10:4).