Ciao Bellas! Today we are coming to the end of Peter’s Pentecost speech. He has been explaining the promise of resurrection through Joel 3 and Psalm 16 to his fellow pious Jews. He’s told them that Jesus is the Messiah whom has been promised for the rebuilding of the Kingdom of Israel. Jesus has been raised from the dead and is “both Lord and Messiah.” (v.36) Peter’s audience is “cut to the heart” when he’s done speaking. They repent and are baptized. I want to focus on three parts of today’s reading. 1) The meaning of “Lord” 2) The significance of “Messiah,” and 3) “cut to the heart.”
To begin with, why is the term “Lord” so important? It can be used to mean ‘sir.” Theology professor Dr. Mark Giszczak says, when taken in its Greek form kurios, “is used to translate the unpronounceable name of God in the Greek Old Testament.” By saying that God made Jesus kurios he is saying that that he is YHWH. The great I AM. It’s not simply a title of honor, but a name pointing to his essence/being.
Secondly, Peter calls Jesus the Messiah. Christ is the Greek word for Messiah which translates to “Anointed One.” So ‘Christ’ is not Jesus’s last name like my last name is Hernandez. Mind blowing, right? It is a title given to the one who will rebuild Israel. Christ wasn’t just a religious title, but a political one for the son of David. When a king was “anointed” he was given the authority to rule as king. We see this when the prophet Samuel anoints King David with oil.
Finally, the phrase “cut to the heart.” We read, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?” (v. 37) These words tell us the deep regret that Peter’s audience had for their participation in the Friday before. They had screamed “crucify him” and now they realize that they messed up big time. The Holy Spirit is moving again in the hearts of His people. The word “cut” can also translate to “pierced” or “stabbed.” They wanted to know what to do next and Peter tells them to “Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v. 38). It is here when the church gains many new members. Three thousand people accept Peter’s message and get added to the kingdom. As I reflect on what this means to us today I am reminded of the power of being a witness.
Reflection: Our “yes” is important for the kingdom to grow here and now! You never know who you are inspiring by simply living out your YES for Jesus. Shalom. Xoxo.