Sunday: Acts 2:22
v22: Having just quoted from the prophet Joel to explain to the crowd why the disciples spoke with other tongues, and having concluded with the words, And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, Peter announces to them that the name they must call upon is the name Jesus. But he knows there is a theological barrier in their minds which will prevent them calling on that name. The barrier was a confused, or at least incomplete, understanding of what the Bible says will happen when the Messiah arrives. So now he will explain to them prophetic passages they had previously overlooked. He wants them to see that Jesus death, resurrection and ascension were clearly prophesied in their Scriptures.
Monday: Acts 2:22
v22 (continued): The common assumption held by the vast majority of that crowd would have been that Jesus crucifixion proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that He could not have been the true Messiah. Since childhood they had only been taught about a Messiah who would come as a powerful warrior to defeat Israels enemies and who would be a spiritual leader who turned the entire nation back to God. So in their minds no one who had been disgracefully executed, as Jesus had been, could possibly be the Messiah. Yes, He had done amazing miracles, and some in the crowd undoubtedly still thought of Him as a prophet (Lk 24:19), but they were convinced that His weakness in allowing Himself to be executed proved He could not be the Messiah. So Peter now turns to the Scriptures to show them that they were wrong.
Tuesday: Acts 2:22
v22 (continued): Though he is about to indict them for executing their Messiah, Peter again (v14) addresses the crowd respectfully, Men, Israelites, hear these words. Later, he calls them brethren (v29), and they respond by calling the disciples brethren (v37). In light of all that had taken place in that city just 40 days earlier, the warmth in this exchange is surprising. Obviously, Peters goal is to win their hearts, not rage against them for crucifying his master. He introduces Jesus by using the title, Jesus the Nazarene. It was the common practice of the day to identify a man by his place of residence (Jn 11:1; 19:38; Ac 9:11). There were many men in Israel at that time with the name Jesus (derived from Joshua), so to distinguish which Jesus someone was talking about the persons hometown was added; and to distinguish between numerous people with the same name within a town the name of the persons father was added (son of
) (Lk 4:22; Jn 6:42).
Wednesday: Acts 2:22
v22 (continued): The title Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene was the most common way of identifying Him (Mk 1:24; 10:47; 14:67; 16:6; Lk 24:19; Jn 1:45; 18:5; Ac 3:6, 4:10; 6:14; 26:9). It was the title Pilate placed over Him on the cross (Jn 19:19) and the title Jesus used to introduce Himself to Saul on the road to Damascus (Ac 22:8). Peter then reminds the crowd of the stunning level of divine confirmation which accompanied Jesus everywhere He went. God had showed His approval of this man by performing countless numbers of miracles through Him, such as healings, deliverances, the multiplication of loaves and fish, and even raising the dead. These were wonders, startling proofs that God was with Him, and signs, undeniable miracles that pointed to the truth of who He is. Peter is simply reminding them of facts that those who had been living in Israel for the past few years knew firsthand. Many had seen, and virtually all had heard of the mighty deeds God had done through Jesus (Lk 24:18, 19). These deeds, he said, were done
in your midst, as you yourselves know
. And no one, not even the religious leaders, could dispute that fact (Jn 3:1, 2; 11:45-48; 12:9-11).
Thursday: Acts 2:23
v23: Yet in spite of all these miracles, a majority of those present at Jesus trial had supported the decision to execute Him. Though the Romans actually carried out the crucifixion, it was the religious leaders and the crowd who bore most of the moral responsibility. The event would not have happened had not Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, and the chanting crowd all pushed for execution. So, Peter boldly confronts them with their guilt. He says,
you nailed Him (to a cross) by the hand of godless men (Roman soldiers) and put Him to death. His boldness in this moment is remarkable. For a man who only days before fearfully denied to a servant girl he even knew Jesus, Peter now has the courage to stand in front of thousands and tell them in unmistakable terms that they were morally responsible for killing their Messiah. Seeing the resurrected Jesus and being baptized in the Holy Spirit had obviously transformed Peter into a fearless and eloquent spokesman for His Lord.
Friday: Acts 2:23
v23 (continued): The crucifixion could never have taken place unless God had allowed it. Peter tells the crowd that their failure to recognize the Messiah was prophesied. A clearly defined plan and the foreknowledge of God was behind everything that had happened. Proof of this lay in the fact that Jesus death, resurrection and ascension were predicted in the writings of the prophets. Notice: Peter isnt simply asking the crowd to believe that a dead man came to life, hes asking them to see that the Scriptures say the Messiah will die and come back to life. Once they saw that this truth was in their Scriptures, showing them that Jesus was the One who had fulfilled this promise would be relatively easy. Most of the crowd already knew the events that had taken place in Jerusalem (Lk 24:18), and many had probably heard rumors of a resurrection, so the main obstacle that prevented them from believing in Jesus was an incomplete understanding of the Messiah. So Peter will now correct this by reminding them of two key passages in the Psalms.
Saturday: Acts 2:24-29
v24: Peter describes the resurrection of Jesus as an escape from the grip of death. He truly died, but because He was holy (pure, without sin) death could not hold Him, it had to release Him. Jesus is the One whom God raised up, loosening the cords (pangs?) of death because it was not possible for Him to be held by it (death). vs25-28: To explain why death couldnt hold Jesus, Peter quotes from Psalm 16:8-11. In that psalm David says he is confident God will preserve him even after he dies, and he bases that confidence on a spiritual principle that God will not allow His Holy One to undergo decay, He will not abandon His soul (physical life, breath) to the realm of the dead (Sheol, Hades). v29: But David did die, and by this point in time, he had been decaying in a tomb for over a thousand years. So David himself was disqualified from being this Holy One. He must have been speaking about someone else.