PART 2 ACCESSORIES TO MURDER
Strange Happenings • Jewish holiday of “Shavout” (a.k.a. “Festival of Weeks”, a.k.a. Pentecost – 50 days after Passover.) • The Jews are trying to make sense of some very interesting happenings. • Peter invokes Joel • 2nd of 12 OT minor prophets – 900-500 BC-ish?
“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ ACTS 2:17-21 (JOEL 2:28-32)
The Attention-Getter • Last prophet of the Old Testament • Malachi, approx. 433-374 BC • Silence until John the Baptist • Disciples were heard “declaring the wonders of God in [their] own tongues!” (v11) • The “amazed and perplexed” crowd wanted to know: “What does this mean?” (v12)
Whoa! The “Last Days?” • Acts 2 contains two “zinger” verses often used to divide and discredit. • Was Peter really implying that God’s plan would be completed within days? • Look at verse 39… • When is THE last day? • Look at verse 20…
“Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. ACTS 2: 22-23
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” ACTS 2:36-37
The Price of “Admission” • In the midst of confusion and wonder, Peter throws down a steep price to go any deeper. • You were an accessory to murder. God’s chosen Messiah for Israel, no less. • How much blood is on YOUR hands? • The Passion of The Christ syndrome…
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:22-25
Repent and be Baptized 2nd “zinger” verse of the passage… Peter appears to be linking baptism as a prerequisite to Christ’s forgiveness. But, did you understand the QUESTION?
National Question • Peter was speaking to Jewish nationals (and foreign converts) on a Jewish holiday. • Peter is addressing “fellow Israelites” (29) and “all Israel” (36). • “God made this Jesus, whom you [plural] crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (36) • “Brothers, what shall WE do?” (37)
Personal Answer • Peter responds to Jews who just figured out that they had killed their awaited Messiah, and converts their national question into a personal answer. • You (singular) need the personal forgiveness of Jesus. Messiah is saving YOU. • Repent, be cleansed, identify with Jesus
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” ACTS 2:40
Save Yourselves? • “Save yourselves” could be applied as: • Seek Christ as your only means of salvation. • This is a personal choice. • Detach from a now aimless national identity. • Your contemporaries missed the boat. Will you? • Beware influence and corruption. • Wheat and chaff, starting that very day.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. ACTS 2:42-47
The Fellowship • Attributes of the “infant” Church: • Devoted to teaching and fellowship. • Breaking bread and prayer. • Awe-inspiring signs and wonders. • Togetherness and commonality. • Sacrifice and sharing. • Glad, sincere, and praising hearts.