But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them:
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Pat was a dear soul. She has since been received into Jesus’ loving and eternal embrace, but when I knew her, she was a small woman with a delightful smile and a quick laugh. Most of all she had a deep love of Jesus and His people, the Church. She would frequently be seen driving her sensible, little, white car to church for another session of volunteering in the office, the preschool or some Bible study.
One day, however, her little white car did not start. Pat had been a telephone operator. She did not understand cars. She knew they needed a little maintenance and regularly brought it into a mechanic she trusted to get its oil changed and the like, but all the mechanisms under the hood simply boggled her mind. The intricacies of internal combustion, ignition systems, and exhaust were great mysteries to her. We got her car running, her mechanic fixed it, and soon she was putting around the church smiling again.
Peter preaches the first sermon of the Christian Church here today. He explains things for us. Or does he? Like my friend Pat and her car, he does not so much explain things as tells us that it works. Turn the key, put your foot on the brake, move the lever to drive, step on the gas and steer That was about as much as Pat knew. Does Peter give us much more? God sent His Son, He died for our sins and now we live in Him. It is not so much and explanation as it is a confession that it worked, and it works still.
Don’t worry too much if you do not understand all this about Trinity, Incarnation, and the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Pat really did not understand her car, but it got her to church on time. Know that the Father who sent the Son and poured out His Holy Spirit has done all this so that you be saved. You do not need to understand how it works to enjoy the benefits. Trust Him. He knows how to save you.