Sunday 9th May 2021

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Last Sunday we started to look at the first time someone other than Jesus shares the message we have put our faith in. Simon-Peter uses the Old Testament - the only scriptures they had, to prove that this message comes from God. Last Sunday we saw that the prophet Joel promised that one day God would give his Holy Spirit to all who trusted in him – he would pour his spirit out on all who call on his name. Simon-Peter declares that this promise is now being fulfilled and the reason it is being fulfilled, is because of what happened 7 weeks earlier – the events we call Easter.

The people listening to Simon-Peter, may have remembered that when they were celebrating Passover, there was some strange weather on the Friday when darkness covered the land all afternoon, and then since the Sunday of that weekend, people had been seeing this Jesus of Nazareth who had been crucified on that Friday. Simon-Peter announces that God is fulfilling his promise to pour out his Spirit because of the events which happened that Passover weekend to Jesus of Nazareth.

Read: Acts 2: 22-33

Simon-Peter it telling the crowd that it was not the people in Pontus Pilate’s court yard shouting ‘crucify him’ who sent Jesus to the cross, but it was all part of God’s great plan – the fulfilment of promises made by God throughout the Old Testament to send a Saviour, and Simon-Peter mentions a specific promise God makes to King David.

David was someone everyone recognised as a person who God had spoken through and the passage Simon-Peter quotes is what we call psalm 16, which says that someone who dies will ‘not be abandoned to the realm of the dead and will not see his body decay’ (v.28 / 31 [Pslam.16:10]) and more than that, this resurrected person will be seated at God’s right-hand! Everyone would understand this phrase to mean that this person was welcomed and honoured by almighty God.

Simon-Peter says that David cannot have been referring to himself, because we know he died and was buried, and they could visit his tomb there in the city. King David’s body had decayed in the normal way, so the only way we can make sense of this Psalm is to read that David is expressing a future event which God had revealed to him, that one day, a son of King David (a descendant of David) would actually experience this and from our Christmas celebrations you know that Jesus of Nazareth was of the house and lineage (a descendant) of David.

Simon-Peter reminds the crowd about the miracles brought about by Jesus and says that surely this is God pointing out that Jesus was the promised one, and this was then further confirmed through God raising Jesus from the dead and now he is in the place of greatest honour next to God. Simon-Peter goes on to explain that this completes all that needs to happen before God could fulfil his promise of giving the ever-present help of his Holy Spirit to all who trust in him.

Now, hopefully you are thinking ‘but there is nothing new in what you are telling us this morning Stephen. It is the same message we hear Sunday after Sunday.’ But that is the good news! Seven weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Simon-Peter preaches the message we have put our faith in. The message of a risen, living Saviour, a message preached by those who directly received teaching from Jesus and encountered him in his resurrection body. A message which can be validated through being foretold to people throughout the Bible’s Old Testament.

God always intended to give us a Saviour, someone who would enable us to know forgiveness for not loving God as we ought to, and who would restoring our relationship with God, enabling us to know life in all its fullness, and central to that message is God defeating the power of sin and death through raising a crucified Jesus back to life.  

Use these familiar words to lead you into prayer:

In Christ alone! - who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe!

This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save:

Till on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied -

For every sin on Him was laid; Here in the death of Christ I live.

(Stuart Townend & Keith Getty  © 2001 Thankyou Music)

Page last updated: 14th May 2021 7:09 AM