Sermon Title: This Jesus
Text: Acts 2:14-39
Sunday was Easter, of course, and people throughout the world reflected on the resurrection of Christ. We studied Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 because it was the first sermon preached after the resurrection, and so it was the first sermon from the apostles that was shaped by their new awareness of who Jesus really was.
Notice how Peter uses the phrase “This Jesus” three times in his sermon:
- “. . . this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (2:23)
- “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses” (2:32).
- “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (2:36).
The angels also used it in the previous chapter: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (1:11).
The phrase points to the theme of the preaching throughout Acts: “This Jesus.” Sunday we focused on how Peter uses the phrase in Acts 2: “This Jesus” was proven to be the Son of God by his wonderful works, was delivered up to be crucified, was raised up from the grave, and was ultimately exalted to God’s right hand.
As a result, “this Jesus” has enormous implications for our lives. It’s impossible to believe in the empty tomb—to reallybelieve in it—and live like everyone else. That’s why a day like Easter should cause us to reflect on its implications. What does the resurrection mean? How do we live that daily? Can it be a once-a-year kind of thing?
“This Jesus.” He changes everything.
- How can our class pray for you or a friend or loved one tonight?
Start Reading (read Acts 2:14-39)
- What questions do you have after reading Peter’s sermon?
- What’s the setting of this sermon? How long had it been since Jesus’s resurrection? Who was the audience?
- Though Easter as a religious holiday isn’t specifically mentioned in Scripture, how can it be a special day for us? And how can we use it to share our faith in Christ with others?
- How might Jesus’s resurrection have played a significant apologetic role in convincing Peter’s hearers that he was the Messiah?
- Verse 36 is pivotal: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” What does “Lord” mean? What does “Christ” mean? In what way are we all guilty of crucifying Jesus?
- Can Jesus be your Savior is he isn’t your Lord? How are the two ideas connected?
- The life, death, resurrection, and exaltation of Christ implies a “therefore.” What is the “therefore” of your life when you leave the building tonight? Jesus is at God’s right hand, so how does that affect my (1) marriage? (2) integrity? (3) sexuality? (4) finances? (5) priorities? (6) response to life’s tragedies and disappointments? (7) response to life’s successes?
Start Praying(ACTS acronym)
- Adoration: Praise God for his love that led to Jesus and what he’s done for us.
- Confession: Ask God to forgive us for what our sins did to Christ.
- Thanksgiving: Thank God that he raised Jesus from the grave and made him our King.
- Supplication: Pray for God to help every member of this class to submit daily to the lordship of Jesus Christ.