Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36

For most of us, there is a difference between what our close friends call us and what the government calls us. I feel awkward whenever anyone calls me ‘James’, for example. But it is my formal name, along with my middle name and surname. Together, they are who I am officially, identifying me not only as a person in my own right but as a member of my family and my heritage. I don’t have a title, or any letters to append to my name, but many people do, and that forms part of who they are. Those titles and letters are important to them. Titles are also important to God, especially when it comes to His Son.

When Jesus was conducting His earthly ministry, many called Him Master, Rabbi, and other such titles. Only a few acknowledged Him as Lord, including the repentant thief on the cross. His title as Lord was always His, from eternity to eternity. The fact that few acknowledged that title had no bearing on His right to it. Peter is pointing out to his audience in today’s text that God is declaring publicly and convincingly that Jesus is Lord. As those who have come to trust in Him, we appreciate today His Lordship and would seek to proclaim it. He is our Saviour and Lord, and we acknowledge this with worship and thankfulness.

But the Jesus Who died for our sins and rose again for our justification is not only Lord, but also Christ, as our text declares. This is not a title that He always had, but a title He received when He came into this world as our Saviour. Remember what the angel said at His birth: Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. The promise of the Messiah had been a vibrant thread throughout the Old Testament, throughout God’s dealings with the patriarchs and with the Israelites. Even today, devout Jews daily pray for the Messiah to come. At Bethlehem, the Messiah – the Christ – came. As the Messiah, Jesus came and fulfilled the mission that His Father sent Him to do. And Peter could proclaim at Pentecost that the Jews, and the Gentiles too, could receive the Lord Jesus as Christ.

All that mankind ever needed for a Lord and Messiah, all that God ever required as a spotless paschal Lamb, is found in the one we recognize, worship, and obey today as the Lord Jesus Christ. – Jim MacIntosh

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