Acts 4:10-12 (ESV)
10 “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
The truth about Jesus in these brief words of Peter is wonderful to behold. In context, we find that Peter is being questioned as to how he healed a beggar. According to verses 5 and 6, this interview was conducted by the most important Jewish leadership: “Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family.”
The audience who heard Peter’s claim is the first thing that got my attention with this passage. Consider that this group, all enemies of Jesus, all heard Peter claim that Jesus was raised from the dead. This was a serious claim, and it was made very briefly after the resurrection, only a few months if my reckoning is correct.
Now, were Jesus not alive, what would these leaders have done? They would have laughed, sent out a few solid men, and brought out Jesus’ body. It’s just that simple. In a period of a few months, the Jewish leadership would not have lost track as to the whereabouts of a body that they themselves demanded be guarded by Pilate. The only way that Peter could make this claim in the faces of Annas and Caiaphas and not be humiliated by those two powerful men would be for Peter’s claim to be incontrovertible. Peter spoke the truth, and Annas and Caiaphas and all the other important leaders knew it. This is why they could do nothing to silence Peter.
And let me simply add that, if Peter’s words in verse 10 are true, then his words in verses 11 and 12 must also be true. If Jesus is really alive—a claim which the most ardent opponents of Christianity could not disprove—then it is also true that he is the prophesied cornerstone and the one in whose name salvation is to be exclusively found. Jesus is the prophesied Messiah, the promised rescuer sent to earth by God. He is also the only way that any human being is ever made right with God. These follow from the miracle of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.