Peter began his sermon pointing to things that the audience knew and things they did not know. It would
be Peter's purpose to prove (using scripture) the things that they did not know (primarily the resurrection.)
Things they already knew about Jesus (2:22, 23b)
1. Vs 22. Discuss some of the miracles, wonders and signs that Jesus had
done among the people during his life time? Here is a partial list given in Nave's Topical Dictionary:
Water converted into wine. Heals the nobleman's son, the demoniac, Peter's mother-in-law. Cleanses the leper. Heals
the paralyzed man, the immobile man. Restores the withered hand, the centurion's servant. Raises the widow's son to life at the village of Nain. Heals a
demoniac. Stills the storm. Throws demons out of two men of Gadara (Gerasa). Raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead Cures the woman with the issue of
blood. Restores two blind men to sight. Heals a demoniac. Walks upon Lake Galilee. Heals the daughter of the non-Jewish, Syro-Phoenician woman. Feeds more than
four-thousand people. Restores the deaf-mute man, a blind man, the epileptic boy. The temple tax money obtained from a fish's mouth. etc.
Which of the above miracles would have been more widely known? Was there any reason why Jesus should not have been recognized as
a man of God among them? Even King Herod had heard about the miracles of Jesus (Luke 23:8.)
2. Vs 23b, Peter also knew that "they knew" that they were responsible for having crucified
and slain a man approved of God. Read Matthew 27:24-25. They had used the wicked hands of the Roman State to crucify Jesus, but the blood of Jesus was on their
hands. Later in Acts 5:28, the hard hearted rulers of Jerusalem would deny that they were guilty of wrong preferring to hide their guilt rather than repent. But
the people to whom Peter was preaching were more tenderhearted. Cf., 2:36-37.
Things they did not know about Jesus( 2:23a, 24)
1. Vs 23a, The death of Christ was not a mistake, nor a delay in what
Jesus had come to earth to do. It was the fulfillment of God's plan. (Acts 3:18, 4:26-28, 26:22-23.) Read Matt 26:53-54. Did Jesus have the power to prevent his death or would doing so, like
Peter's efforts with his sword, just delay what "must" be? These are deep questions!
Before his statement to Peter about what "must
be," Jesus had prayed "O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Mt:26:42.) There was no avoiding what had to be
done for the sake of mankind. Perhaps he could delay it, but he still had to suffer in order to both fulfill the scripture and obey God. The plan was
predetermined but the Lord's choice was not. When Jesus finally died, it was because he "gave" his life in submission to the will of God? Cf., Matt 15:27, I John 3:16.
The death of Christ was pre-determined as the means by which man would be saved but not pre-arranged. His death would be the
fulfillment of prophecy and compliance with God's predetermined plan. But it was not inevitable. Jesus chose to obey God. (Phil 2:8.)
Another question to consider might be: If the suffering and death of Jesus was pre-determined by God, why were those who
crucified Jesus held accountable? Again, his death was pre-determined but not pre-arranged. God does not make people do immoral things. (James 1:13-14, 2 Pet 2:9.) Knowing the
nature of man, God in his infinite wisdom knew that some thru jealousy, greed and ignorance would seek the death of his Son. But the choice to participate was always theirs
2. Vs 24, Here is the most important thing that this audience did not yet know. They had slain Jesus, but God
had raised him up. This too was in fulfillment of scriptures as Peter would later explain in his sermon. What are the "pains of death" that God loosed
when he raised up Jesus? (Could it be "death without hope? or fear of death? or the prospect of punishment?" Discuss.) Why was it "impossible" for
death to hold Jesus? Cf., Vs 25. Was Peter saying that David's prophecy regarding Jesus "had to be" fulfilled?