Peter’s sermon after he received the Holy Spirit, validates for all of us that Jesus is really who he said He was. Jesus having suffered, died and rose from the death, Peter puts it all together to proof that Jesus’s death and resurrection was not only God’s plan but, it was God’s way of validating Jesus as both Lord and Messiah. We will see how Peter uses scripture to prove his point that Jesus is Lord, Jesus is the Christ. We will also see the response of those that were listening to Peter’s very first sermon.
You killed the Messiah/ Christ – Peter’s indictment on the Jews (Vs 22-23)
Acts 2:22-41 (ESV Strong’s)22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
God Validates Jesus as the Messiah/ Christ
Peter starts his sermon with an indication of to whom he is addressing his words. It is cleat that the words are directed to those who were leaving in Israel or commonly known as the Jews. Having got their attention, Peter doesn’t waste time, but get straight to the point by stating what the Jews knew to be a fact. At the end of verse 22 above, Peter says what he was saying to them, was well known among them. It was not disputable.
What was not disputable and was well known among the Jews was that Jesus did mighty works and wonders and signs among them. They all saw them and they all know it. Peter says it was God who was doing these mighty works and wonders and signs through Jesus, to validate Jesus’s claims to be the Christ, the Messiah.
The indictment – Yet You still killed Him
Despite God’s validation of Jesus’s claim to be the Christ, the Messiah, Peter rightly accuses them, of killing their own Messiah using the Romans, men without the law of God.
Jesus’s death and resurrection was all part of God’s Plan
Even though each of the people that were involved in the suffering and death of Jesus, did that out of their own desires and made their own choices, everything that took place, that led to the suffering and the death of Jesus, was all part of God’s definite plan and foreknowledge. Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, did not die by mistake, but as part of God’s plan. This however does not make them innocent of the death of the Messiah. God allowed them to act exactly according to their own choices and desires and used those, to achieve His predetermined plan. God did not force them to kill Jesus but, allowed them to do what they wanted to do anyway. Therefore they are guilty. Take note that the word “foreknowledge” used in this verse, does not mean that God looked into the future and saw what was going to happen, and planned accordingly. This word means to predetermine. That is to decide beforehand.
Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah (Vs 24-32)
24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,“‘I saw the Lord always before me,for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;my flesh also will dwell in hope.27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,or let your Holy One see corruption.28 You have made known to me the paths of life;you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
The Resurection of Jesus validates that He is Christ, the Messiah
Not only did God validate Jesus’s claim to be the Christ, the Messiah, through mighty words and wonders and signs that He did through Him, but He also validated His claim by raising Him from death. Peter says it was impossible for death to keep Him held. If God raised Jesus from death, then Jesus truly died and therefore the Jews are truly guilty.
Peter supports his point that God raised Jesus from death by using scripture. He quotes Psalm 16:8-11. More specifically in verse 10 of this Psalm, David says that the Lord’s soul will not be abandoned to hades (the place of the dead), meaning the Lord will not remain dead forever, or the Holy one be allowed to see corruption (body decay). Having quoted this Psalm, Peter makes it very clear that David could not have been talking about himself, since they know that David is dead and is still dead and his body has seen decay (1 Kings 2:10, Acts 13:36).
So, who was David referring to? Peter says when David said this, he looked into the future and was actually speaking about the resurrection of Jesus who is the Christ, the Messiah. How could David have known all this? Peter says this is because firstly David was a prophet (2 Samuel 23:2), and secondly, David knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would be a king (Psalm 132:11, Luke 1:32-33). David saw that Jesus was not going to remain dead and will not see decay.
Peter then concluded his scriptural proof by declaring that, it is this same Jesus of Nazareth that they have killed, that God raised up. Most importantly, they (disciples) are witnesses to this fact. What he is talking about is not hearsay, but what they themselves witnessed. They are eye witnesses of the resurrected Jesus.
Jesus is Lord
33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,“‘The Lord said to my Lord,“Sit at my right hand,35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
God validates the Lordship of Jesus Christ
Having proofed that Jesus is indeed the risen Christ, the risen Messiah, Peter now moves to his second proof. This time he proves that Jesus is Lord. Peter starts by declaring that God has exalted Jesus Christ to His right hand, a position of authority. This exaltation means that Jesus is Lord. Not only that but, Jesus has also received the promise of the Holy Spirit from God the Father (Luke 24:49). Peter says it is this Holy Spirit that Jesus has poured out on them which is the reason for what they were seeing. The Jews thought they were drunk when they saw them speaking in other languages.
Having made such a statement, Peter once again goes to scripture to prove that indeed Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of the Father, a position that gives Him authority. For this, Peter quotes Psalm 110:1. This Psalm speaks of the Lord who is a ruler, who has power, who is a priest forever. In Luke 20:41-43, Jesus interprets Psalm 110:1 as referring to the Christ, the Messiah. Jesus says David calls the Christ Lord. Therefore, by quoting Psalm 110:1, Peter is saying that, now that Jesus is clearly the Christ, the Messiah as I have already proven, it goes without saying that this Jesus, is also the Lord about whom Psalm 110:1 is written about. Even David, calls Him Lord. Truly then, Jesus is Lord.
Peter’s Proven Point
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Peter then, having concluded his proof, he tells the Jews that (1) based on the fact that God validated Jesus to be the Christ, through the mighty words and wonders and signs, (2) On the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead and, (3) Based on the fact that God has given Jesus authority and power and rule, let everyone, know for certain (without any doubt), that Jesus whom they crucified, God has made Him both Lord and Christ. Jesus is Lord and Jesus is the Christ.
The People’s Reaction to Peter’s Sermon
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter’s message cut straight through the people’s hearts, so much that they asked one another, what they should do in light of what Peter has just told them. Peter had just proven to them that Jesus is Lord and Jesus is the Christ. Now, the question was how must they now respond.
How we must Respond to Jesus as Lord and Christ
38 And Peter said to them, “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. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”
Peter responded to them with the same response we all must give to every unbeliever. Peter told them to repent (Change their minds) and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Once they do this, they will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is a gift from God. What does it mean to repent? Peter was telling then to change their minds with regards to how they view Jesus of Nazareth. They must now see Him for who he truly is, and that is Lord and Christ.
Peter continued to tell them that the promise of the Holy Spirit, is not only for them, but it is also for their children and everyone else in the world whom the Lord our God, will call to himself. Therefore, please take note that the promise is not for every single human being in the world but, it is for only those whom the Lord our God will call to himself.
Peter continued to witness to them and to encourage them to save themselves from this crooked or morally twisted generation.
Some Accepted The Word of God and Others Rejected it
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
This verse tells us that not all who heard the word were baptized but only those who received the word. About 3000 souls believed and were baptized that day.
Jesus’s death and resurrection was God’s way of validating that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. Our response must therefore be that of repentance and baptism so that our sins can be forgiven and we may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
How do you view Jesus Christ and how is your response to His death and resurrection?