(22-41) Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost
Shortly into his sermon, Peter recounts how Jesus was delivered up, crucified, and killed by the hands of lawless men. The actions of these lawless men, however, were in accordance with the plan and foreknowledge of God. Therefore, it was not really them or us who killed Jesus, but God. Regarding the death of Jesus the Christ, John Piper said, “The Bible says Judas delivered Jesus over, and Pilate delivered Him over, and Herod and the Jewish people and the Gentiles delivered Him over, and we delivered Him over. It even says Jesus delivered Himself over. But Paul said the ultimate thing (in Romans 8:32a). In and behind and beneath and through all these human deliverings, God was delivering His Son to death. ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.’ In Judas and Pilate and Herod and Jewish crowds and Gentile soldiers and our sin and Jesus’ lamblike submission, God delivered over His Son (for our salvation). Nothing greater has ever happened.”
God delivered His Son to death, and God raised His Son up from death. Before Christ even came to earth, David prophesied in Psalms that God would not abandon His Son to Hades or let Him see corruption. The crucified Christ is now the risen Lord. Because it was not possible for Christ to be held by death, it is not possible for those who believe in Christ to be held by death either. The pangs of death have lost their sting. The grave no longer has victory.
When the crowd that was gathered heard the Gospel which Peter preached, they had the right reaction: What shall we do? They did not just hear Peter’s words; they wanted to act on his words. Peter earnestly and eagerly tells them what they must do to be saved. After they repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus the Christ, they will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not just promised to the apostles, but to all who believe – even those who are far off.
(42-47) The Fellowship of the Believers
The newfound faith of these early believers changed their lives and had them living on a higher level. They no longer existed for themselves, but for Christ and for others. The sold their belongings and distributed the proceeds to all who were in need. They praised God. They had favor with all people. Because of their vibrant Christian testimony, souls were constantly being saved.
Favorite verse: (24) God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.