GOD HAS MADE THIS JESUS, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST
Acts 2:22-41 KV 36
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
In last week’s passage we learned from the Apostle Peter that when the Holy Spirit comes on believers, their young men will see visions, their old men will dream dreams, and their sons and daughters will prophesy. This was all in accordance with the words of the prophet Joel and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Today the Apostle Peter continues by declaring that God made this Jesus, both Lord and Christ. Let us learn today through the study of scriptures why Jesus is Lord and Christ, and what it means in this day and age that Jesus is Lord and Christ over our lives.
Part I – God’s set purpose and foreknowledge (22-24)
Peter had just concluded explaining to the people of Jerusalem how they were witnessing the promised Holy Spirit being displayed through the words of the prophet Joel. Peter could have left things at that and let the crowd go on their way with a nice story for their friends. But he did not do that. Instead what did Peter do? Look at verse 22, “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”
Peter instantly launched into another sermon; this time about Jesus. This message was directly connected. Peter wanted to show why the prophecy of Joel had been fulfilled at that time. The reason it had been fulfilled was to reveal Jesus. Peter brought the focus of his message back to Jesus. Very specifically Peter took the time to remind the people of Jerusalem about Jesus. What had Jesus done among the people? Jesus did miracles, wonders, and signs from God. Yes everyone there knew these things and knew who Jesus was. Even as far back as Mark 8:28, when asked who the people say Jesus was, they replied, “ “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
As Christians we too must remember what Jesus has done among us and always bring the focus of our discussion back to Jesus. After jogging their memories now Peter came to the hard part. How had the people of Jerusalem treated Jesus? Look at verse 23, “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” Peter was not trying to win any popularity contests. This was God’s rebuke sent through the Apostle Peter. YOU put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
Peter continued directly in verse 24, “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” There is a significant conjunction here; “but.” The people of Jerusalem had mistreated and killed Jesus and it looked like a great tragedy—poor Jesus. Peter proclaimed—But God raised him from the dead! Why? It was because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus, because he is the son of God. This happened because of God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, this was God’s plan to reveal his glory through his son Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in John 10:18, “No one takes it from me but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”” Jesus did not stay dead. Jesus rose from the dead revealing his power over death. Since the beginning of time many people have died, yet Jesus was the only one who rose from the dead—because death could not keep its hold on him. Peter wanted the people of Jerusalem to realize this Jesus, that they had put to death, really was; he was in truth the author and perfector of life (Heb 12:2).
Part II – You have made known to me the paths of life (25-35)
It would be one thing if Peter were speaking of his own accord. But Peter was not speaking his own mind. Just as in quoting the prophet Joel in describing the pouring of the Spirit and the speaking of the tongues, Peter went the words of King David in the Psalms to explain about Jesus. Did you know that King David spoke about Jesus in the book of Psalms? Do you know who King David was?
The audience in Jerusalem knew who King David was. But some of us may not know him. Acts 13:21-23 describes King David very succinctly, “21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.” David was a man appointment by God as the second King of Israel. David had been a shepherd but was chosen by God to lead the people. Most of all David was known as a man after God’s own heart—a man who understood and followed God.
David wrote about Jesus according to Peter, look at verse 25, “David wrote about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.’” David wrote about him. David said the Lord is always before him. This was important because David was chased and harassed and besieged his entire life—the only thing he could be assured of was that someone wanted him dead. But David saw that the Lord, Jesus, was always before him—so he would not be shaken. In our lives we are constantly dealing with surprises, rejections, tragedies, and persecutions. But when we look at Jesus and see him always before us, he is the rock we can stand on and never be shaken.
Look at verse 26-27, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” What makes you glad and rejoice? What makes your fearful? We all have a fear that we will one day die and be forgotten by God. But God promised King David, you will not be abandoned to the grave, because God will not let his Holy One see decay. The Holy One is Jesus.
Because of this David is joyful. Look at verse 28, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Also 1 Corinthians 15:55 says, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Because Jesus did not see decay or death as promised by God, he defeated the power of death. Because Jesus lives, we to can have the promise that we will not see decay either. Following Jesus is the clear path that leads to life and joy in his presence giving us hope. Consequently there is also a clear path of death leading away from his presence. Seeing what was ahead David then was speaking of the Christ—that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay (31).
In conclusion to the words of King David Peter brings the listener back to the current situation and tells the crowd that the disciples were witnesses that God had raised Jesus to life (32) and exalted him to the right hand of God and his pouring out the Holy Spirit on what they were now seeing and hearing. The words of King David seek to connect Jesus as the risen Messiah, the one who forgives sins and brings all believers to the path of eternal life and eternal joy.
Part III – God made this Jesus, Christ and Lord (36-41)
Peter had quoted from King David who was held in high regard by all the people of Jerusalem. Yet according to Peter’s words, in verse 34, David did not ascend to heaven like Jesus. Yet all the people loved King David. Peter’s point is how much more should we value the words of Jesus since he was the one the prophet David foretold? Verse 31 says, “he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.”
After all these verses and dialogue what was Peter’s conclusion? Look at verse 36, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” What does it mean that Jesus is “Lord and Christ?” To be the Lord means to have direct command over a people. When the Lord speaks, his people are instantly affected. Jesus is Lord means he rules over everything including our life. Of course we would say the Apostle Paul and other great theologians like Martin Luther and John Calvin who fought church corruption; even the great English orphanage director George Mueller who entirely depended on God would call Jesus Lord. But what about someone in modern times? Does anyone really call Jesus Lord? Dave Mustaine lead singer and guitarist of Megadeth, Ted Dibiasie former pro-wrestler, the Million Dollard Man, former WCW world champ Sting, need I say Tim Tebow, all call Jesus their Lord and bow the knee to him. What about you, is your name on this list?
If Jesus is Lord of our lives then his word makes a drastic and direct impact on us. According to the passage Jesus is not just Lord of our lives, but Lord over everything, life, death, politics, even the very air we breathe.
What does it mean that Jesus is the Christ? It means that Jesus is the one foretold in the scriptures by God. All the Old Testament points to Jesus as the Christ who fulfilled God’s salvation plan on the cross. Jesus is the Christ means that he is the one the entire history of the planet was made for—all pointing to him as the fulfillment of God’s salvation plan.
When the people heard all this how did they react? Look at verse 37, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” The depths of the words of truth spoken by the Apostle Peter had now sunken in. The people who had been waiting for the Messiah, who had been waiting for their Lord to come, who had been looking for the pathway to life, now realized that they had killed that man. The verse says they were cut to the heart. What does it feel like to be cut to the heart? If someone were to stab you in the heart—you would instantly realize this and have to instantly deal with it. There is no way to ignore the issue. Perhaps trembling they asked, “What shall we do?” They alone are not the only ones responsible for rejecting Jesus and nailing him to the cross. The Bible says that Jesus died for the sins of the world—that means all of our sins today as well. We too should be trembling now that we realize we too helped put Jesus to death… what shall we do?
At this time Peter could have been sensitive saying, “It’s ok, no problem. Try better next time.” But he did not. Peter spoke the truth of God, look at verse 38, ”Peter replied, “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.” Peter was very clear; full of the Holy Spirit he commanded all the listeners to Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Peter did not soften or sugar coat this but commanded all who were listening and cut to the heart to repent. To repent means to turn away from sin and turn back to God. Look at verse 39, “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.””
This command was not for just the people of Jerusalem but also for those of us far off—those here today this command is for you. Repent and believe and you will be saved!
Peter’s words today would be considered offensive by some—in violation of individual freedoms, but the point is that Peter spoke the truth from God. Peter warned the people not to standby but to flee from their sins, look at verse 40, “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”” Peter was telling the crowd flee from the sinful generation—flee from the path that leads to death, repent and come to Jesus and be saved! That is the gospel message preached to this day and that is the truth and the way to be saved.
Often times as Christians we look for a modern way or a more sensitive way. Don’t mistake my words I understand that there are times and ways to preach the gospel, but remember what you win them with is what you win them to. In the Bible, we only see the disciples preach to people one way, by telling them the truth of Jesus as Lord and Christ, and the need to repent of their sins. When Peter and the Apostles did this what happened? Look at verse 41, “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” About 3,000 were added that day because of the preaching of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of the sins of the people at that time. Peter told them to place their faith in Jesus to flee this corrupt generation and the wrath of God.
About 9 or so years ago I came to the conclusion that the Apostle Peter came too. While studying Dupage UBF was studying the book of Romans I began to question who I was and who Jesus was in this world. I was going out on weekends with groups of friends. As we were all discussing the issues of the day and the social politics of our own little group, it became apparent to me that my heart was being affected by the word of God. I would rather sit in the car and listen to a radio pastor on Moody Radio then join the group inside. Inside as others were chatting about gossip I found myself talking about the book of Roman’s and God’s holiness. Quickly I realized this was no longer the place for me. I left one day and never looked back. The Holy Spirit led me to realize that Jesus was truly made the Christ and Lord by God. The words of the Lord Jesus Christ helped me to make amends to repair my relationship with my sister and others. With that and his command to not go back to that place and those old friends, I could dedicate my life to following to the will of my Lord.
Jesus as my Lord is important because his word speaks and I must obey. It is a bit antiquated but the Bible says, “Thus saith the Lord.” End of discussion. I want to follow him because he has only good things in store for those who love him. The will of the Lord took me all over the world to see the work of God going on. It took me to Germany, Korea twice, Kenya, Dubai (slept in the airport), Mexico, Australia, and Canada. Jesus is the Christ because he took away all my sins on the cross. Without Jesus I would be a hopeless wanderer. But Jesus gave me hope in that my life which was headed for darkness was now put on the path of life.
Conclusion: Today we learned the source of Apostle Peter’s message—it was the fulfillment of God’s plan through raising Jesus from the dead—to make him Lord and Christ. What must we now do? Repent and believe in his name to be saved.