Text: Acts 2:22-36
To be assured that Jesus Christ has come alongside you
To yearn to join Jesus on the road
WHILE WE ARE FOCUSING on Acts for the next few weeks, I want to encourage you to read the Gospel text appointed for today as well: Matthew 28:11-20, which tells us of Jesus’ promise to be with us even to the end of the age.
What Peter captures in this speech is something that Luther tried to again highlight, and which we as the Church would do well to recapture: The God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, is a god who comes alongside, who comes to make possible what is impossible when we are left to our own devices. Hear Peter’s own words:
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by [death].
This is why the Gospel is good news: God has promised to come near, and it is not “judgment,” but rather “welcome relief.” It is the image of you or I working an impossible task, facing overwhelming odds, puzzling over an unsolvable puzzle, and our Lord comes near to do what we cannot, defeat what we cannot, solve what we cannot. Where modern Christians carry with them the image of trying their best to do enough so that God will no longer frown at them as an implacable judge, Israel of old also saw God as a judge—but Israel was not the defendant, Israel was the plaintiff! God will vindicate us! God will set things right! God will bless!
It is for this reason that Jesus can make the promise he makes—there is simply nothing that can thwart his good purposes. And he plans good for you.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks