Today, our devotional reading focuses on Acts 5:29–42 and comes from the Classic Commentary on Acts.
Scripture Readings (Year A)
1 Peter 1:3–9
The reading from Acts recounts the words of Peter and the apostles as they clearly confessed Christ before the high priest. In times of both peace and persecution, may the words of the Holy Spirit fill our mouths so that we faithfully confess Christ to those around us.
The death and resurrection of Jesus have always been the chief elements in the distinctively Christian message. But they have been connected and interpreted in a variety of ways. Peter’s words display the connection made in the earliest missionary proclamation to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. That message proclaimed the death and resurrection as acts reflecting diametrically opposed estimates of Jesus: “You killed Him; God raised Him up.” . . .
According to Deut. 21:23 everyone who hangs on a tree is accursed, that is, condemned by God. Crucifixion (Acts 2:36; 4:10) was the equivalent of hanging on a tree (10:39; 13:29), and death by crucifixion therefore meant to be cursed by God and forsaken. The manner of Jesus’ dying, namely on a tree, was a scandal. Peter however says that Jesus was despised and rejected by men only and not by God. The Resurrection is God’s deed and reveals God’s estimate of Jesus. In the Resurrection God has spoken His yes to Jesus and has exalted Him to “His right hand as Leader and Savior” (that is, Leader to life or salvation; see 3:15). Stephen (7:35) called Moses the leader and redeemer of God’s ancient people. In the premonarchic period the judges were God’s appointed leaders and the deliverers of the people (Judg. 3:9; 11:6, 11). What God did then through Moses and the judges, what He promised to do Himself in the last times (Is. 49:6–13, 26; 52:7–10; 59:20–21), He is doing now in ultimate fashion through Jesus.
Devotional reading is from Commentary on Acts, pages 102–3 © 1970 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer is from The Pastor at Prayer, Revised Edition, page 143. This edition © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.