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Jesus is both Lord and Messiah

Jesus Christ is my Lord. That is the greatest confession of faith you can ever make. “Jesus is Lord.” He is not one of a variety of ways to get to heaven; He is the only way because He is the risen Lord. When we confess faith in Jesus we are saying Jesus is Lord because God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10).

Why do followers of Jesus Christ believe He is Lord? The resurrection of Jesus demonstrated beyond any doubt that He is Lord of all. Our faith is based on the clear historical evidence of His resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus proved the validity and reality of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross and His sovereign Lordship. Because Jesus is alive He is our Lord, and He invites us to join Him in the resurrection life.

The apostle Peter gave four evidences of the resurrection of Jesus in Acts 2:22-36.

The person of Jesus Christ is the first clear evidence that He is risen from the dead (vv. 22-24). Jesus is a real historical person who lived in the town of Nazareth (2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14; 10:38; 22:8; 26:9). He performed many miracles that were witnessed by multitudes of people on diverse occasions. There were eyewitnesses who saw Him raise the dead (cf. John 11:38-44), and heal the sick (Matt. 9:35-38).

Peter declared in his greatest sermon, this was the person who was crucified on the cross in Jerusalem (2:22-23). “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know” (v. 22). “. . . You nailed to the cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (v. 23; cf. 3:13; Lk. 24:19-20). People knew Him and could identify Him. This man was seen alive from the dead!

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was no accident. It was God’s “plan.” He was “delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God . . .” His very person testifies that He died and rose again.

The prophecy of David is fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The king-prophet David foretold that the Messiah would not remain in the realm of the dead and that His body would not decay in the grave. In Acts 2:25-31 Peter quoted Psalm 16:8-11 with the clear knowledge that he could not be referring to the ancient king David. He had been dead for a thousand years (2:29). We can visit his tomb this very day in Jerusalem.

It was impossible that this person who performed miracles and signs and wonders among eyewitnesses could be held by the power of death (v. 24). Obviously, David is referring to a greater David, “since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”

David’s prophecy was fulfilled in the person of this risen Christ. David “looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah (Christ), that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay (lit. see corruption)” (v. 31).

God raised up Jesus to life, and exalted Him to the right hand of the Father fulfilling David’s prophecy (Ps. 16:8-11; Acts 2:30; 3:13; Phil. 2:9; 5:30-31; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2). Later on Peter would write of the risen Christ in 1 Peter 3:22, “who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”

The third evidence of the resurrection of Jesus were the personal witnesses who saw Him alive (v. 32). Great multitudes of trustworthy witnesses saw Him alive. This is the steady pulse beat of the apostle’s witness of the resurrection in the book of Acts (2:32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30, 32; 10:39-41; 13:30-31, 33-34, 37; 17:31; 26:23).

Jesus is the Messiah and Lord because it was impossible for death to keep its grip on Him. “He must rise again from the dead” (John 20:9).

The fourth evidence Peter gives of the resurrection is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Only the risen Christ could send the Holy Spirit (vv. 33-35). It would be impossible for the Holy Spirit to be present in such a great magnitude if Jesus were not alive in heaven. God sent the Holy Spirit to do His miraculous work in men’s lives (Joel 2:29-32; Luke 24:49; Jn. 14:26; 15: 26; Acts 1:4). The supernatural events at Pentecost can only be explained by the resurrection of Christ.

It is imperative that Jesus be alive because He could not send the Holy Spirit if He were still dead. Only the living Christ could send one like Himself to continue His work on the earth. John 16:7 tells us Jesus had to return to heaven before He could send the Spirit. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

Again Peter quotes king David in Psalm 110:1 with the obvious certainty that it could only refer to a greater David (Matt. 22:41-46).

The ascension of David’s greater Son is the most powerful testimony of the resurrection (Acts 2:34-36). King David was not resurrected; Jesus was. He did not ascend to heaven; Jesus did.

What can we learn from the greatest sermon Peter ever preached? Jesus is the Messiah and Lord. To those present He declared powerfully, “Jesus is your Messiah; the one you crucified is now alive!” You nailed Him to the cross; God raised Him from the dead! This was no great accident, or poor judgment on the part of Jesus; God delivered Him up “by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (v. 23). God did it!

“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses . . .” (vv. 32-33). This is all the evidence we need. Jesus is alive! He is a real person who lived at a specific time and place in history. He was murdered by crucifixion in Jerusalem by the hands of godless men. But “God raised Him up again. . . . This Jesus God raised up again to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God . . . . God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:24, 32, 33, 36).

The noun “Lord” in v. 36, referring to “Christ” is a reference to Yahweh and His Anointed One. When I compare “Lord” in vv. 21, 34 and 39 I am convinced it is a strong affirmation to the deity of Jesus Christ. God not only raised Jesus up, but also “exalted” Him “to the right hand of God” (v. 33).

What is your response to the evidence? Will you confess Him as “My Lord and my God”? The apostle Paul concluded, “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name . . . Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9, 11).

At the conclusion of Peter’s great sermon three thousand people came under the awesome power of the Holy Spirit and put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. You can’t argue with success when God is at work. The results were profound (Acts 2:37). They were “pierced to the heart,” or “smitten in conscience.” It was like being struck violently; they were stunned. I pray you are too. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you, too, will be saved.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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