Peter and John were arrested and brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin, including the deposed high priest Annas and his son-in-law, the current high priest, Caiaphas. Peter and John were being charged with healing a lame man in Jesus’ name. Clearly the crime was not healing a lame man, but doing it in Jesus’ name. The Sanhedrin asked Peter and John:
“By what power or what name did you do this?”
When Peter answers them he makes three important points:
First, Peter’s theme continues to be Jesus’ resurrection because the resurrection of Jesus proves the court of heaven had overthrown the Jewish court’s decision to crucify Jesus. Peter says, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from that dead.”
Next, the leaders rejection of Jesus and God’s choosing of Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus is the stone the builders (Sanhedrin, Annas, Caiaphas, etc.) rejected as they built their Jewish system, but Jesus is also the cornerstone that God has used as the first stone of a new building (church) which all the following stones must be aligned with.
And, finally, the salvation of the Jewish nation can only be found in Jesus. Indeed, Jesus is the source of individual salvation and our personal right standing with God. But, this message that Peter is presenting to the Jewish leaders is probably not predominately focused on their individual salvation (although that would also be necessary), but probably focused on the Jewish national security. If the Jewish nation persists in rejecting Jesus, the servant/messiah, then there is no hope, no deliverance, and no salvation for these builders who have rejected the Jesus as the stone. Jesus will become the first stone, the cornerstone, of a brand new building called the church and the Jewish nation will be overthrown in 70 AD.
Peter and John are dismissed from the Sanhedrin, but they are first charged, “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18)