By the beginning of Acts Chapter 2, we know that Jesus had been crucified, buried and resurrected on the third day after his crucifixion. Then he re-appeared to the disciples and His followers. During this time, He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift from God which is the Holy Spirit. After 40 days He was taken up to heaven, leaving His followers who waited faithfully until the Holy Spirit came and annointed them on Pentecost Sunday. They were enabled by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. Some people who saw this were amazed, but some people made fun of them and accused them of being drunk. Then the disciple Peter stood up to deliver the first recorded gospel sermon after the resurrection of Christ, recorded in Acts 2:14 – 40.
In v29 he refered to King David, who had prophesied about the resurrection of the Messiah who would not die. Peter connected this to Jesus’ resurrection that they had witnessed with their own eyes (v.32) and informed them that David’s prohesy in Psalm 110:1 had come true. Jesus is the Messiah they had all been waiting for! He had been exalted to sit at the right hand of God, He had received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and He had poured out what they saw and heard on that day. Peter wanted to reassure them that what was happening was exactly what God had planned. God had made Jesus whom the people had crucified, both Lord and Messiah. The people in Jerusalem had called for the authorities to crucify Jesus because they did not believe that He was the son of God. They did not believe in His message of salvation. They were as responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion as the soldiers who had hung him on the cross. When the people heard this they were cut to the heart (v.37), meaning that they were greatly distressed. The surprising thing in this story is that they decided that they needed to do something about this. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do?” They were so strongly convicted of their sin that they decided to so something about it and sought the apostles’ advice.
This same group of people had heard Jesus Christ himself tell them what was about to happen. They had listened to his teaching but had not understood what He had meant. It was only after they had seen the power of the Holy Spirit that they understood God’s truth. This is why they were convicted of their sin when they heard Peter’s sermon. In v38 Peter tells them to repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and if they did this, they would also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then he delivers the key message in this passage in v 39, “the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for ALL whom the Lord our God will call.” This is the promise of salvation from sin for all of us who would respond to God’s call, which is to repent and to turn to Christ.
We are all responsible for our own sin, which made it necessary for Jesus to be crucified to pay the price. Somebody has to pay the price for our sin, either Jesus or ourselves. When we repent in Christ Jesus, he takes on the punishment for our sin and we can receive salvation through Him. All we need to do is to choose to receive this gift of grace from God. In order to repent, we need to understand that we are sinners and that we need to be saved. Jesus offers us the only path to salvation and God gifts us the Holy Spirit to guide us as we live as Christians. We have a choice – are we going to make the decision to repent and receive God’s forgiveness and salvation?
Father God, thank you for sending me your son Jesus Christ to die for me. Thank you for loving me so much that you made a way for me to be saved. Forgive me for all the things I have done wrong. I acknowledge my wrong doings and I repent of them. I want to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I want to receive the Holy Spirit, to guide me through my life. Thank you for your gift of grace to me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.