God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Acts 2:36
Les Misérables begins with paroled convict Jean Valjean stealing a priest’s silver. He’s caught, and he expects to be returned to the mines. But the priest shocks everyone when he claims he’d given the silver to Valjean. After the police leave, he turns to the thief, “You belong no longer to evil, but to good.”
Such extravagant love points to the love that flowed from the fountain from which all grace comes. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told his audience that less than two months before, in that very city, they had crucified Jesus. The crowd was crushed and asked what they must do. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Jesus had endured the punishment they deserved. Now their penalty would be forgiven if they put their faith in Him.
Oh, the irony of grace. The people could only be forgiven because of Christ’s death—a death they were responsible for. How gracious and powerful is God! He’s used humanity’s greatest sin to accomplish our salvation. If God has already done this with the sin of crucifying Jesus, we may assume there’s nothing He can’t turn into something good. Trust the One who “in all things . . . works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).
Have you given yourself to Jesus? If not, what’s holding you back? If you have, what will it mean for you to give your fears to Him as well?
Dear Father, thank You for Your extravagant love that rescued me from my sin. Please take all my fears and help me to trust You.
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The significance of the apostle Peter’s preaching on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14–41) can’t be overstated. He was the first to publicly preach the gospel after Jesus’ return to heaven. His sermon established the pattern for the preaching we see in Acts, the rest of the New Testament, and subsequent preaching about Christ. What were the features of Peter’s public proclamation of Jesus? It was rooted in Scripture (Acts 2:17–20 [Joel 2]; Acts 2:25–28 [Psalm 16]; Acts 2:34–35 [Psalm 110:1]). He presented it in clear terms, explaining how God had made Jesus “both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:36). Finally, Peter’s preaching called for a response with the offer of forgiveness and the gift of God’s Spirit to all who would receive (v. 38).