Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. (Acts 2:43)
It’s interesting how Peter goes about preaching one of the first gospel presentations. He does not lead with “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” Nor does he start with “everyone is a sinner.” Rather, Peter begins with Joel’s prophecy regarding the last days: the Lord will come. How would you know if the Lord came? Awe. He will come with wonders, signs, and His Spirit being poured out. And when He pours out His Spirit, men and women will prophesy and dream! Pretty awesome things will happen! The crowds could not deny it. They had seen many wonders, especially that Pentecost day. Jesus in his lifetime had done awesome wonders and signs too. Clearly, the Lord had come. And, clearly, Jesus is Lord.
The cherry on top is this: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” After Jesus was crucified by the crowds present, God raised him to life and exalted him as Lord. Jesus is Lord now over everything, and amazingly, there was still grace for salvation! What an awesome thing that when we call on Jesus in faith, we not only can be saved but we will be saved!
If you’re asking, what are we being saved from? That is why Peter quotes David’s psalms next. David acknowledges his “Lord” in Psalm 110:1: “The Lord declared to my Lord [that is, Jesus], ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.'” The Jewish listeners who crucified Jesus all started to sweat, feeling in danger of becoming a piece of furniture for God’s feet as Jesus sits back to relax! The crowds were shocked to the core. How could they be so wrong and blind to not see Jesus as the Messiah before? How could they have been so proud and arrogant? They, like we, need to be saved from sin by the Lord of salvation.
So, with pierced hearts, the crowds asked Peter what they could do. Peter tells them to repent. And, now, this is grace, our being allowed to finally see God for who He is, after many years of blindness and enslavement by sin. Grace is getting chances to turn and repent. When God gives you this grace to see and love the King and you go after Him, your life will not be the same. You will want to celebrate this message together with others who share it.
Join them with the early church and call on Jesus, who is not only “your Lord” but also the Lord of the universe and of salvation. Be filled with awe that God would dare to graciously save us. Jesus is coming soon.