EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 20)

Everyone there was an Israelite—the good guys, the bad guys, and those in between. The entire story, from Abraham to Pentecost, was the saga of a single, small, obscure nation on a sliver of land in the Middle East. This nation was chosen by God two millennia before, long before it ever was a nation, when it was only prophesied as such, when it only existed of a man, a woman, and a hoped-for miracle child. Isaac was his name. Within him were all the future participants, including the greatest One of all.     

INTRODUCTION   
Ch 1:  LESSON 1    LESSON 2    LESSON 3    LESSON 4    LESSON 5    LESSON 6    LESSON 7
Ch 2:  LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11   LESSON 12   LESSON 13   LESSON 14   LESSON 15
Ch 2:  LESSON 16  LESSON 17  LESSON 18  LESSON 19      

LESSON 20

Acts 2:36-37

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” [1]

Among the Israelites before him, shock and awe plastered on their faces, were undoubtedly some of those who directly participated in clamoring for the Lord’s crucifixion fifty-three days before. The conspiracy that started in the cold, hollow darkness of a few dark hearts, those with great influence, those with the ability to pull strings on a whim, had extended to down line roll players, each playing a part. For these wicked ones it truly was a passion play. They wrote the script, they chose a director, they set the scene, and they hired actors. They even hatched a diabolical plan to compromise the Roman government which otherwise had the power to shatter their dream through laws against such supreme injustice and vendetta politics.

Pontius Pilate, though one who often flaunted his power in taking personal liberties with Roman law, sometimes to the edge, was well versed in such jurisprudence. He was certainly in authority and didn’t shrink from it, but was also under authority. He would have to answer for his actions. Having been called on the carpet before due to prior acts of government malfeasance, most notably in excesses against the native population he presided over, Pilate faced enough perceived threat from his superiors that he was ripe for compromise. And the plotters knew it. They knew they had cards to play that could tie him in a knot. And they did. And their plot worked perfectly. Until, that is, a little resurrection problem.

But you see, in their warped minds, the Man they crucified was just another nutcase nuisance who believed Himself to be somebody—another pretender—a false prophet—a magician. He was a violator of the Torah, they said, while they, of course, obeyed every jot and tittle. If they had to resort to an evil backstabbing conspiracy to take Him out, so be it.

And now Peter was looking directly into their hearts. His eyes flashed with the power of heaven. It was a familiar look to them. They had seen it before in another Man’s eyes…

Powerful, unrelenting conviction came upon them like a load of dirt from the sky. “He knows I’m guilty!” some thought. Peter did not lay the blame just on those direct participants but the whole lot of them. They opposed the Lord to a man. And now in a sudden rush it all came together in their previously deceived and distorted minds. They no longer saw a magician but their Messiah! We killed our Messiah!      

Peter was not merely preaching to the instigators in the crowd before him, or the crowd itself, but directed his message to the whole nation:

“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” [2]

Imagine being given a great promise. And imagine getting direct clues in the interim that the promise was greater than previously imagined. Then imagine finally receiving it and… Do you see? The promise never changed. The people did. Their sin and rebellion warped their minds and blackened their hearts. But praise God He gives us second chances! Praise God He is forgiving and compassionate! Praise God He is sincere and loving! Because this wasn’t the end for these morons, but a new beginning! Their rocky hearts had been busted wide open by the powerfully anointed sledgehammer preaching of Peter. He kicked their backsides black and blue. He mopped up the parking lot with them. They were left absolutely defenseless and destroyed. Exactly how the Lord drew it up.

Hearing this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, brothers?” [3]

They were all brothers! These were all Israelites! —The apostles, all the Upper Roomers, the entire crowd—they were all members of the same nation. Not everyone in the crowd took the message to heart but thousands did, and there would be many thousands more. The prophesied Remnant was coming forth.

National destiny was granting yet another chance for the children of Isaac.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

[2] © New Revised Standard Version

[3] © The New Jerusalem Bible

Posted on May 15, 2020, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. We take the Word to heart with rejoicing!

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    • Thank you Yvonne. I appreciate your presence here. We certainly do take His lifesaving Word to heart with great rejoicing and hope. He is our loving Father who can make anything happen for His children whom He loves. He has a plan and a purpose. On that momentous day of Pentecost so long ago He began a new creation, a relationship miracle, a cleansing and anointing, a new form of going forth two by two, yoked together with Him to work the fields and bring life to millions, which continues today.

      Blessings to you in your life and work.

      Like

  2. As you know, I just started John 8 this week. Already, they were laying traps so they could arrest and indict Him.

    Not much has changed, politically-speaking!

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    • Thanks Linda. The forces of darkness have always hated the Light and they hate it when the Light always ends up winning. They are often so filled with themselves in going for the kill they fail to notice they have greatly overstepped their bounds, become vulnerable, and walked right into a much greater trap than the one they tried to set. Imagine that, the evil trappers being trapped! As they say, it’s a God thing.

      I like the way this is dovetailing. As I mentioned on your site a while back referring to FB censorship, the Gospel of John Chapter Eight will be a real test. While they were always laying traps for Him, be aware that there are likely traps for you based on the material you are now covering. Keep up the good work!

      Be Blessed.

      Like

      • I tested out a few different words that I thought may be problematic. I’ve come to the conclusion that that their program for finding “objectionable” posts doesn’t like the words Jew or Jewish. So now I say “religious leaders” instead. Either someone thinks I’m antisemitic, or they themselves are antisemitic. Either way, I haven’t had any trouble since.

        Like

        • Thanks Linda. It’s a sad thing but I’m glad you found a solution. It appears as though the Lord Jesus Himself is characterized as antisemitic. It’s really strange how we got to this point. I have been reiterating the truth of this forever, as I wrote again in this post, that until Cornelius the entire Early Church was composed of Israelites. I used to say it was a period of 7-10 years. At present I think the conversion of Cornelius, the Roman centurion and first Gentile convert, took place in early AD 41. Some people think Cornelius was the same man as the centurion at the cross.

          So we have the Lord Jesus with a perfect pedigree from the tribe of Judah, all the apostles, the 120 Upper Roomers, and the entire Jerusalem believing Community composed of multiple thousands. We even have a great many Messianic Jewish synagogues all over the United States and the world, and even in the state of Israel. That movement has been ongoing for fifty years.

          It is impossible for real Christians to be antisemitic since we believe the Lord Jesus is God. What higher praise can there be? Real Christians love everybody. The Lord would have it no other way.

          Blessings to you. I appreciate your work and witness.

          Liked by 1 person

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