Acts 2:22-41 Men of Israel, hear these words: . . .
The apostle Peter preached to the Jewish people/the children of Israel, in the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Shavuot/Pentecost, a message that has not changed. It is still the essence of any evangelism to the Jews, despite the history of the last 2000 years. I want to bring out a few salient features which can not be altered.
v.22 – this message was preached firstly to the people of Israel, both those within the Land, and those of the dispersion who were here for the celebration of Shavuot
–Yeshua ha-Notzri/Jesus the Nazarene: spiritual significance to this name of Messiah; chosen by God, rejected by man (Is 53) [see article, “What’s In A Name?” http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/what-is-in-a-name-yeshua-shall-be-called-a-nazarene/ ]
v. 23 – God’s plan from the creation to send Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, to die for our sins – of Israel, of the nations, of all human beings
–we Jewish people – as the ones whom God chose – just as He determined in advance to make Yeshua the ultimate and final sacrifice – are guilty of putting Messiah to death through lawless hands – both of Jews and of Romans/Gentiles
v. 24 – But God raised up Yeshua from death, because death can not stop God from living, or from givng life to the Righteous One – and to those who are made righteous through faith in Him
v. 32-33 – Peter and the other apostles, and 500 others, were eyewitnesses that truly Jesus rose from the dead, and that He ascended to Heaven to the right hand of God, from where He pours out and gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers.
v. 36 – Again, Peter, the apostle to the Israelis/Jews, declares plainly our responsibility and guilt for the crucifixion of this Yeshua, whom God has made both Lord and Messiah.
–Yeshua is the netzer (the shoot from the root), chosen and precious to God, despised and rejected by Man
–Yeshua is the one to whom the Throne of David belongs, and He is Lord of lords and King of kings; High Priest, who always lives to make intercession for us; the Prophet, who spoke and is the Word of God
v. 37 – The preaching of the truth through Peter cut the hearers to the heart, and they said, “What must we do?!
— It may be noteworthy that there is no altar call here, but rather that the Holy Spirit convicted the crowd of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to the point that they cried out and sought God’s mercy.
v. 38 – Repent, and be baptized each one in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!
–baptism in the name of the Lord, which is the example of all the baptisms in water recorded (Yeshua’s instructions to His disciples at the end of the gospel of Matthew does not refer to water baptism, but rather to discipleship into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – into the fullness of who the triune YHVH God is.)
–our hearts convicted and broken, leading to repentance from our sin of unbelief and unfaithfulness to our God (Lev 26:38-42; Zech 12:10-14)
This message of grace and truth to the Jewish people still remains. The righteousness of God and of His sovereign plan of salvation for all is still the issue for us all, for those who believe and to those who still do not. We preach Christ Jesus, and not ourselves. God indeed knows what is in our hearts.