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God’s Word for You

Acts 2:33-36 both Lord and Christ

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

33 So, after he was exalted to the right hand of God, and after he received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out what you now see and hear.

Imagine standing there at Pentecost, seeing a dozen apostles all speaking in different languages, but hearing evidence as you listened that the same spontaneous sermon was being preached by them all. Peter was preaching in one language, James in another, Andrew in another, John in still another, and so on. One doesn’t need to be a great scholar to recognize the name of “Jesus” as it is spoken in twelve languages at more or less the same intervals. But over the top of this phenomenon, the hearers were being taught something miraculous about the resurrection. Jesus was raised from the dead, and that’s a miracle all by itself, but more than that, when he was raised, he received the Holy Spirit, and it was he, the risen Jesus Christ, who was pouring out that Spirit on the apostles right now. The many tongues of Pentecost were a direct result of Jesus’ resurrection.

34 “For David did not ascend into heaven, and yet he said:
  The Lord said to my Lord,
  ‘Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies
  a footstool under your feet.’

This quotation is Psalm 110:1. In it, the Lord God is addressing David’s descendant, the Lord Jesus Christ. David bows and drops to his knees to call his descendant “my Lord,” knowing that his own offspring, born ten centuries after David’s time, would be the Son of God and the Savior. The Lord God tells Jesus “Sit at my right hand.” Sitting at the right hand of God is a familiar expression in the Bible. It does not mean that Jesus is confined to a chair in heaven until the end of time. Jesus said, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Sitting or being at someone’s right hand is similar to what we mean when we call someone our right-hand man. It signifies a special status, an importance. A right-hand man is someone who the boss trusts more than anyone else. Jesus is God the Father’s Right-Hand Man. Yet Jesus is also with us today. He is everywhere. He is omnipresent. Why do we need to bother with this fact? Because Jesus also says “This is my body” and “this is my blood” when we eat and drink the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. If Jesus is confined to a chair in heaven, then the bread we eat and the wine we drink cannot be his body and blood. But Jesus is true God, and is everywhere. So when he says “This is my body” in the Lord’s Supper, we eat bread, but it is also the body of Jesus. When we take the Lord’s Supper, we receive five things: bread, wine, the body of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and the forgiveness of sins. What Jesus earned for us, he also pours out on us: the forgiveness of our sins.

Who are the enemies God places beneath the feet of my Lord Jesus? “Those who are wicked and oppose his will” (1 Clement 36:5-6). When will he place them under the feet of my Lord Jesus? Paul says: “He must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26); therefore all enemies will finally be conquered forever when death has been destroyed forever, when we are called out of our graves by the blast of the trumpet and the voice of our Lord Jesus.

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel be certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Peter is saying very much the same thing Paul said to the Romans about Jesus Christ, “Who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4). Jesus has achieved everything promised about the kingdom of God in the Old Testament.

What is the significance of saying Jesus is both Lord and Christ? First, the one who is these things is “Jesus, whom you (Israel) crucified.” Jesus is human: true man. Also, Jesus is Lord—not merely a lord or master of men (he was not!) but the LORD who made his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus is divine: true God. And to top it all off, he is also the promised Messiah. Jesus Christ, Peter concludes, is 100% God, 100% human, and the Christ, the Messiah, promised by Moses, David, Isaiah, and the other prophets. Most important of all, he paid the full price for all of our sins. That’s what it means to be our crucified and risen Lord.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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