Preaching of the Early Church: Both Lord and Christ
Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims at the Feast of Pentecost, barely seven weeks after the crucifixion. And on this day, many of those pilgrims were crowded around a small group of Galileans, astounded to hear them speaking languages that they had never learned. “What does this mean?” (Act 2:12), the people asked in amazement. “These men are uneducated. How can they speak all these dialects?”
Peter stood with the other apostles and answered them from the prophecy of Joel. This was a sign that the last days were upon them (2:14-21). It was evidence that God’s Spirit had been poured out on humanity, signaling the dawning of a great day of grace. But Joel also warned of judgments that would come at the end of the age, and alongside that warning gave them this great promise: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (2:21 NKJV).
But there was more. Not only did this sign fulfill prophecy, it also declared that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead (2:22-28). Just as His miracles proved during His ministry that He was the Son of God, so this miracle proclaimed His resurrection – and therefore also proved His deity (Rom 1:4).
Wicked men crucified Him in hatred, but God worked through their evil plans to offer His Son as a perfect sacrifice to take away sin forever. And when He completed that work of redemption by His death, God raised Him up from the dead. It was impossible for death to hold Him!
So where is the Lord Jesus now? He is seated at God’s right hand in heaven until the day when His enemies are judged for their sin (2:29-36). This sign, Peter said, is the evidence that “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (NKJV).
The crowd was shocked as they understood what Peter was saying. They were witnessing an indisputable miracle that had been prophesied centuries earlier in Scripture. It was pointing out their guilt and proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth – the man they crucified – was the Son of God, alive and exalted in heaven. It was warning them that there was a day of reckoning fast approaching when He would return to judge His enemies for their sin. They cried out in distress, “What shall we do?” (2:37).
Peter reminded them that there was a promise available to them and to everyone else who is far from God: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” They, too, could have salvation and share in the blessing of the Holy Spirit, if they repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Friend, we are still living in God’s great day of grace that Peter spoke about. Even though we didn’t physically crucify the Lord Jesus, we are just as sinful as those who did and just as guilty of rejecting Him as they were. This world is headed for a great and terrible day of judgment, but there is a great promise available to all of us right now: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”