“Lord and Christ”

The last words of Peter’s Pentecost sermon, which pricked the hearts of many of his hearers were, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ this Jesus whom ye crucified” (Act 2:36).

The word “Lord” equals “Master”; the word “anointed” signifies one who is consecrated and chosen for a certain task or role. Jesus was God’s “anointed one”. Both the words “Christ” and “Messiah” mean “anointed one”, and the prophets wrote of one who the Father would send into the world and who was designated the Messiah. When both John and Jesus began their ministries one of the questions often asked them was, “Are you the Christ?”. John answered that question, saying, “No” (John 1:20). On the other hand, Jesus never objected when He was called the Christ. When Peter made his confession, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”, Jesus called him, “Blessed” but He did tell His disciples they were to reveal this to no man (Matthew 16:17, 20). On the other hand when a Samaritan woman said, “I know that Messiah cometh (he that is called the Christ): and when he is come, he will declare unto us all things” (John 4:25), Jesus responded to her, “I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:26).

At Pentecost, Peter concluded his sermon, saying, “God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified” (Acts 2:36). Let none assume from Peter’s words that Jesus had become something He had not been previously. Rather we are to understand that Peter’s words meant that God had now bestowed upon His Son all the power and authority inherent in His being “Lord” and “Christ”, which involved Jesus’ exercising authority and commanding obedience from all men in what they should  be and do in His name.

David prophesied of just such a time. He had written, “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). For Jesus to sit at the Father’s right hand demanded first a testing of Himself: being rejected by His own nation and being crucified. After His resurrection Jesus met two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13). When Jesus appeared to them “their eyes were holden that they should not know him” (Luke 24:16). He enlightened them about His own rejection and crucifixion saying, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken.  Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26). Paul wrote that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant being made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore God also highly exalted him and gave unto him the name which is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father” (Philippians 2:7-11). Jesus did suffer, was made perfect, and God exalted Him and set Him at His right hand, giving Him a name above all other names. Peter wrote that Jesus now is ”on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Peter 3:22).

After His resurrection Jesus told His apostles, “All power hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). However, Pentecost was Jesus’ coronation day. Recent events in Great Britain illustrate this point. At the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her son Charles became Charles III, king of England. However, authorities there have announced that the coronation of Charles as king will not take place until some time in 2023. God gave Jesus all authority in heaven and earth before he departed earth for heaven. However, Pentecost was Jesus’ coronation day. It was on that day when stricken sinners, who asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) were told, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). From thence onward unto our day and until the day our Lord returns, He will exercise all power in heaven and earth by the authority God gave Him. At His name every knee must bow. Today “in none other is there salvation for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). From Pentecost until Jesus returns, whatsoever men do in word or in deed, they must do “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).

Jesus will sit at the Father’s right hand and exercise all authority in heaven and earth until every enemy is made His footstool. That last enemy to be conquered is death. Paul wrote of that great occasion saying, “Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom unto God even the Father, when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and all power. For he must reign until he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26). When Jesus returns, He will raise the dead and judge all men (John 5:28-29; 12:48). When He has done that, He will return the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Jesus is now Lord and Christ. Every soul that does not hear His voice will be utterly destroyed from among the people (Acts 3:23). Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

Jim McDonald

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