3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Acts 2 verses 33-35 are strangely, and sadly, not found anywhere in the weekly lectionary. I have sought to address them here, in their immediate context.


Acts 2:32-36

This is a compact set of verses, brim-full of theological gems:

i. The crucifixion of Jesus (Acts 2:36);

ii. His resurrection (Acts 2:32); and

iii. His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 2:33).

The passage is also Trinitarian:

i. Jesus exalted to the right hand of the Father;

ii. Jesus receiving the promised Holy Spirit from the Father; and

iii. Jesus “shedding abroad” the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:33).

The Apostle Peter sealed his Pentecostal speech (of which this passage is the conclusion) by quoting Psalm 110:1, and applying it to Jesus (Acts 2:34-36).

i. The Davidic authorship of Psalm 110 was taken for granted by all parties in the days of Jesus and the Apostles. Jesus goes so far as to say that David spoke these words ‘by the Holy Ghost’ (Mark 12:36) – thus establishing His own authoritative authentication of both the Davidic and the Divine authorship of this Psalm.

ii. Psalm 110:1 begins, “The LORD said to my Lord” – literally, “YHWH said to my Lord”. This suggests another Lord over King David (the human author of these words), apart from YHWH Himself.

iii. Likewise, the words spoken by the LORD to Lord Jesus (Psalm 110:1) are quoted in Hebrews 1:13. The author of Hebrews has already emphasised the seating of ‘the Son’ at the right hand of ‘the Majesty on high’ (Hebrews 1:2-3). This is where Jesus has been since His ascension into heaven (cf. Daniel 7:13-14).

Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, reiterates the Davidic authorship of this Psalm, and identifies David’s Lord with the risen Lord Jesus (Acts 2:34-36).

Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul cites Psalm 110:1, and sees the reign of Christ through to its conclusion in the final destruction of the last enemy: death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

Peter’s application is more immediate. The altar call after his sermon is a call to repentance (Acts 2:38). As Peter says elsewhere, God has exalted Jesus to His right hand to be not only a Prince, but also a Saviour: ‘that He might give repentance to Israel, and the forgiveness of sins’ (Acts 5:31).

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