“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that He would place one of his descendants on his throne….Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.” Acts 2:29-30, 33
Two items here to focus on: Jesus would receive David’s throne (God’s throne) to be ruler over Israel (and the nations), and, Jesus would pour out the Spirit.
The angel Gabriel announced to Mary that her son would be given the throne of his ancestor David (Luke 1:32). Unless Gabriel was misinformed Jesus would do exactly what he promised Mary. Daniel 2:36-45 tells us of God’s plan to reinstate a Jewish king as universal sovereign. This Jewish king’s authority would trump any of the empires’ that preceded. Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and Romans would all rule the world leaving Israel yearning for the glory it once enjoyed in the days of David and Solomon. Now, a peasant girl would learn privately that the king would be her son, and his kingdom wouldn’t be overcome.
Acts 2 has Peter and the eleven proclaiming that Jesus has indeed been chosen as Israel’s long awaited king. He’s their Messiah and Lord. The kingdom of God is his. Part of the proof that Peter offers his listeners that day was what they actually saw and heard. Worshipers heard a violent wind. I wonder if it was something like a tornado, the sound, that is. That would certainly grab your attention. They also heard their own languages which would have been very unusual coming from these Galileans. The worshipers saw something like licks of fire above the apostles heads. What in the world was going on? This wasn’t merely a display of power from God through the Spirit. What worshipers were seeing and hearing was part of a planned event. The event was Jesus’ inauguration as God’s chosen.
Peter illustrates that it wasn’t David who was risen that day. God had not planned for David to return from the dead and rule Israel again, because David did not ascend into heaven (2:34). God chose Jesus to be Israel’s eternal Messiah. God raised Jesus from the dead and it was Jesus who ascended into heaven. Peter says that Jesus is the one who’s poured out what they now see and hear. This is further proof of Jesus’ exaltation and Jesus’ sovereignty.
What the people were seeing and hearing needed explanation. What Jesus had done in sending the Spirit that day was a fulfillment of John the Baptist’s preaching. “I baptize with water….He will baptize with the Spirit.” John baptized with water that he would introduce Israel to its Messiah. John’s baptism created a community within a community, a group of Jews within Jews, who anticipated the coming kingdom of God. The believers would become the new covenant community Jesus was choosing to identify with, and they would be the recipients of the Spirit to mark them as God’s called out, Jesus’ church. The sound of the wind and the sight of tongues wasn’t a means to an end. These weren’t the point of Pentecost. These were signs, signs pointing to a massive reality; Jesus Christ is not a defeated misguided insurrectionist….He’s the eternal King.