What the Resurrection Means
Having established the fact of the resurrection, Peter goes on to explain what it means.
"Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36)
This statement tells us that Jesus has been given a position of great authority - he has been made Lord; he has also been declared to be Christ.
The idea of Christ is one from the Old Testament. 'Christos' is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word 'Messiah'. It refers to the person who is chosen by God to be king - ultimately to govern the whole world. One place where the idea of the Messiah is raised in the Old Testament is Psalm 2:
"Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, 'Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.' ” (Psalm 2:1-3)
Here the word “Anointed” (highlighted above) is the Hebrew word “Messiah”, which translates to Christ. This verse describes the time as the Messiah returns and begins to rule for God. He is opposed by the nations of the world who resent his rule. The word "LORD", in capital letters, is a translation of the name of God.
In verse 6 God speaks:
"As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill." (Psalm 2:6)
Zion is in Jerusalem, the hill from which the king traditionally governed. The Messiah is, or shortly will be, the king of the world, and is to govern it from Jerusalem.
In verses 7 and 8 the words are those of the Messiah:
"I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession." ' (Psalm 2:7,8)
This gives further details of the Messiah. He is described as the Son of God. God has promised to make this Messiah the ruler of the world. Notice that once more the point that the Messiah is to rule the whole world is emphasised.
This picture of the Messiah, the Son of God, returning from heaven to rule the world is the picture of Jesus that is found in the New Testament. By the resurrection God has made Jesus the Christ (the Messiah). The Apostle Paul puts it in these words:
"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord," (Romans 1:1-4)
The resurrection shows that Jesus is approved by God. It shows that Jesus is the Christ - the Messiah - and it shows that he is the Son of God.
The Messiah is the person chosen by God to be the future ruler of the whole world. For Jesus to be the Messiah he must return to rule the world.