Sermon Study - Acts 2:22-36
“Pentecost: This Jesus is Both Lord and Christ” from Acts 2:22-36. You can listen to the sermon here.
Verses 22-36 are the body of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. Everything in this passage builds to verse 36, where Peter offers his striking conclusion: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” This statement would have been utterly shocking to the crowd. In fact, I would argue that for a crowd of first century Jews, this is the most shocking statement they could have heard. To think that this fisherman from Galilee now tells them the man they crucified is in fact their Lord and the Christ. That is a shocking, nearly unbelievable, conclusion!
And that raises a question we need to answer. How is Peter able to make such a shocking statement? If this were a court of law and verse 36 represented Peter’s verdict on Jesus of Nazareth, how does he make his case? You can’t make claims, especially shocking ones, without evidence. So, what does Peter say to support his claim that this Jesus is both Lord and Christ?
Peter makes four points in verses 22-35 that make his conclusion essentially unavoidable. His points are:
- Jesus’ ministry demonstrated him to be more than a mere man
- Even Jesus’ death was in accords with God’s will
- Jesus’ resurrection shows him to be the Messiah
- Jesus’ exaltation shows him to be the Lord
Study Question #1
Peter quotes two psalms in his sermon – Psalm 16 and Psalm 110. He does so in order to demonstrate that the Old Testament foresaw certain truths about the Messiah, and Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled those truths. Therefore, Peter concludes, Jesus is the Christ. Read through Psalm 16 and Psalm 110. In what ways do these passages find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ?
Study Question #2
In verse 23, Peter says Jesus was delivered up “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” His point is that from eternity past, God the Father intended for God the Son to take on human flesh and die as the substitute for his people. Read the following passages, and note how these texts also point to God’s eternal plan for the Christ to endure the cross.
- Luke 24:13-27
- Ephesians 1:3-10
- 1 Peter 1:10-12
- 1 Peter 1:17-21
Personal Reflection Questions
Peter’s conclusion is that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. That is, Jesus possesses divine authority, equal with the Father, and he exercises that authority from his heavenly throne. And Jesus is the Christ, the promised Redeemer of God’s people who has come to make atonement for our sins. In light of these truths, reflect on the following questions:
- In what areas of life do you struggle to believe that Jesus is Lord? Are there areas of life where you consistently worry or struggle to believe that Christ will provide what you need? Are there situations or circumstances where you have a hard time believing that Christ is currently reigning? Take time to pray about those areas, asking the Lord to help you believe the testimony of Scripture that Jesus is Lord. Pray for the Spirit to strengthen your faith in Christ’s lordship, even over the areas where you struggle to see his lordship.
- In what areas of life do you struggle to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of God’s people? Are there sins that you keep hidden in the dark, thinking that Christ cannot deal with them? Are you consistently confronted with guilt over past or current sin? Take time to pray about those areas, asking the Lord to help you believe that he is the Christ, and that he is able and ready to forgive you of all your sin. Pray for the Spirit to strengthen your faith in Jesus as our Redeemer, even over those areas where you struggle to see believe his power to redeem.