Summary: A look at Acts 2:22-37, focusing on the Lordship of Jesus.
"Jesus is Lord".
If you want a comfortable life, you can leave right now. There are no apologies for the strength of todays message. It is meant to challenge and proclaim freedom. The Bible says that "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov 18:21)
1. Why is Jesus Lord ?
Hardly has Peter uttered a word in Acts 2,than his focus was upon Jesus, when he says "Jesus. Men of Israel, listen to this, Jesus of Nazareth..." The immediate attention was upon Jesus Christ. The Jesus who people had seen walking on the streets of Galilee, the Jesus whom they had seen on the Cross and buried. Everything about us - our thoughts, words, actions - must point to Jesus. Our praise,our actions, our worship, our lives, must have Jesus at the very centre, if we are to even begin to call ourselves Christian people. Peter not only talks about Jesus of Nazareth (everybody knew him at least as Jesus of Nazareth), but says that this Jesus is Lord. Peter is saying that this Jesus has prior claim upon your life. Look at v.36..."therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, who you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Peter says...let all Israel be certain of this. This Jesus who you crucified, who you have the blame for crucifying, God has declared both Lord and Messiah. That is the climax of it. So very often, we can disagree that Jesus is Lord, or believe it is of no consequence. So many people tell me that they are Christian, but don’t realise the impact of the very simple declaration. Jesus is Lord. Many people believe Jesus to have been just a good man, who set an example that we should follow. For them, He is merely part of the history books and it wouldn’t really matter if He didn’t really exist at all. The prime ministry of Jesus was not to teach lovely stories, but to DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE EVIL ONE. To make full and complete restoration of the work of His Father. To restore that relationship with God. To free people from their bondage, bring liberty to the captives, restore sight to the blind, let the lame walk, to raise the dead and preach good news to the poor
Now, Jesus did not only create the world and then say "get on with it". He also died for it’s sins. Reflect on this for a moment as we study this passage from Acts a little more. In v.23, Peter declares Jesus as the crucified. Listen, I want you to get a proper hold on this.The cross is the power of God to those who are being saved. It is also foolish to those who are not being saved. Where do you stand ? In our own lives, we need to rediscover a true understanding of the power of the cross. The power to save, the power to heal, the power to restore. On the cross, Jesus died so that we might be free from sin, fear, anxiety, guilt, adultery, bitterness, hatred, murder, jealousy.
Every sin that you can possibly think of, or not even begin to imagine, was nailed there. Every sin that you’ve ever committed, or are ever likely to commit, was dealt with. Try for a moment to picture Jesus as He hung there on the cross - rejected by his countrymen, betrayed by one of His disciples, abandoned by the rest. He was suspended naked between heaven and earth. A body wrecked by innumerable wounds, a soul weighed down by the guilt of all humanity. Earth had rejected Him and Heaven would not respond to His cry - "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me ? As the sun withdrew it’s light and darkness covered Him, His blood ebbed out into the dusty, stony soil. The whole earth was still. From the obscurity of a stable in an obscure town, Jesus had come to this. To die publicly for our sin. The cross was seen as a place of victory by Satan imagine the glee he felt as the nails tore into our Saviour’s hands, the spear pierced His side...then his utter horror as Jesus was raised from the dead.
If Jesus was a liar or some sort of a mad man, do you think that God would raise Him from the dead, then set Him at His right hand, then declare Him Lord and Messiah and finally declare that He should rule as King.
v.24 Death had it’s clutches on Jesus, but God released those clutches. God is a God of freedom and deliverance. He’s a God who brought His people out of Egypt into the promised land, amen ? He brought his people back from slavery and bondage and gave them a land of their own, amen? He brought His Son back from the dead, amen ? He gives us life in abundance and eternity with Him, amen ? Now that’s freedom ! Jesus is the only one who can free from sin and will give peace that the world cannot begin to give. Jesus said "I come to bring release to the captives, sight for the blind". He alone is the answer to the questions of life. Lordship means that Jesus is not only willing and has a claim on our lives, but is able to set us free. Some people, you see believe that this Jesus who lived all those years ago (if they admit he lived at all) stayed there. Some people like to see him as a bit of a wet lettuce in a fairy tale. Have you seen these pictures of Jesus, the ones where He’s got long flowing hair and a bit of a sickly glow about Him, lots of bunnies round his feet. Let me tell you something, the real Jesus had muscles. God is not only willing, but he is able. WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE !