Peter’s sermon moves from Jesus’ miracles to Jesus’ death to Jesus’ resurrection. This is where many of us stop — in fact, many of us stop with the death and don’t include God’s raising Jesus in our gospeling. But for Peter there’s even more: there’s the ascending vindication of Jesus before the Father, from which location Jesus sends the Spirit — which set this whole Pentecost thing off! Here are Peter’s words:
“Brothers and sisters, we all know that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah,
that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body
see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the
promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
” ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.” ‘
“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?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name
of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive
the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
1. The ascension leads to the gift of the Spirit.
2. The ascension leads to the declaration that Jesus is Messiah and Lord, on the throne — and no one else therefore is on the Throne but the Messiah of God.
3. The provoked response to the narration of this Story of Jesus’ miracles, death, resurrection and ascension is to repent and believe and get baptized. Those who do will be forgiven for rejecting and crucifying Jesus and they will be given this same Holy Spirit who got the day rolling.
From beginning to end, this is the work of God. From Scripture to Scripture, as Peter makes clear, God is at work and Peter’s discernment of what God is doing is shaped by what Scripture says.