Unlikely Leaders


Conviction That Jesus Was the True Messiah

Peter bore a powerful witness to the death and resurrection of Christ: “Jesus of Nazareth ... you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.” ULe 17.2

Knowing that his hearers’ prejudice was great, Peter spoke of David, whom the Jews thought of as one of the nation’s greatest leaders. “David says concerning Him, ‘I foresaw the Lord always before My face, for He is at My right hand, that I may not be shaken. ... You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’ ... ULe 17.3

“Let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” “He ... spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.” ULe 17.4

The people pressed in from all directions, crowding the temple. Priests and rulers were there, their hearts still filled with lasting hatred against Christ, their hands not cleansed from the blood they shed when they crucified the world’s Redeemer. They found the apostles fearless and filled with the Spirit, proclaiming that Jesus of Nazareth is divine, declaring boldly that the One whom cruel hands had so recently humiliated and crucified is the Prince of life, exalted to the right hand of God. ULe 17.5

Some who listened had taken part in Christ’s condemnation and death, their voices having called for His crucifixion. When Pilate asked, “Whom do you want me to release to you?” they had shouted, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” When Pilate delivered Christ to them, they had called out, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:17; John 18:40; Matthew 27:25.) ULe 17.6

Now they heard the disciples proclaiming that it was the Son of God they had crucified. Priests and rulers trembled. Conviction and anguish seized the people. They said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The power that accompanied the speaker convinced them that Jesus was truly the Messiah. ULe 17.7

“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” ULe 17.8