June 2011 – Week 2

Meditation for the week of June 12, 2011

This is Most Certainly True

[Peter said], “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:36)

What do you know for sure? What can you be certain of? You’ve probably heard the saying that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. St. Peter adds one more: that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.

This quote comes from the end of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. Pentecost Sunday is 50 days after Easter. The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit, who appeared on them like tongues of fire. They spoke in different languages and proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ resurrection to the Jewish pilgrims who had gathered in Jerusalem from around the world to celebrate Pentecost.

Peter was the main spokesman for the apostles, and he told the people all about Jesus, especially His death and resurrection. Peter had two main points to His sermon:
1. Jesus really rose from the dead, and the apostles are witnesses to this fact.
2. Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, proving that He is “Lord” and “Christ.”
This is still true today, and is the core of every Christian sermon you will hear. That is what pastors are here to do, to tell you about Jesus and His death and resurrection.

Jesus really rose from dead. There were literally hundreds of witnesses who saw Jesus alive after the Easter Sunday. It wasn’t something hidden or secretive or doubtful. Jesus rose. You can be sure of this fact.
What does that mean for you?

It means that Jesus is the one promised in the Old Testament who would come and save His people, that is, the Christ. The prophet David wrote about Jesus, “[Y]ou will not abandon me to the grave, not will you let your Holy One see decay.” (Psalm 16:10) Jesus fulfilled this prophecy, making Him the Christ, the Messiah. It means that God has kept His promise to send a Savior.

It means that God the Father has made Jesus Lord, putting all things under His authority. He is not just your friend, but your Lord and your God.

That’s a scary thing. The people who heard Peter’s preaching were terrified. “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39)

Repentance and forgiveness. Those are sure and certain, too. Jesus is Lord and Christ in order to forgive, not to punish. You can know for sure, along with the crowds of Pentecost, that as you repent, you are forgiven. God has raised Jesus from the dead, and you, too, will rise.

Our Weekly Prayer:
O God, on this day you once taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending them the light of your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding of all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in communion with the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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