Religion is the thing that stands for the Truth. The most dangerous occurrence in religion is when the thing that stands for the Truth become the Thing that replaces the truth because religion is visible, while God is not.
Peter’s Pentecostal proclamation puts the Truth in front of the thing that often represents spiritual fact. The visible facts are undeniable to Peter’s way of thinking. He does not arrange them in religious order or even seek to establish a (new) house of religion. He speaks in the Spirit to persons prone to ponder religious proclamation.
Peter says God (the Father, First Person of the Divine Trinity) raised Jesus from the dead, 2:32. The core of the Christian faith is this; Jesus, the Christ is alive. This is impossible. If He died a Roman death, as He surely did according to witnesses at the scene, He cannot be alive. Or, consider this thought. If He somehow survived the Cross, He is surely dead and gone now, isn’t He, His life being snuffed to sand two thousand years ago?
Well, no, for resurrection, the Truth behind the thing, includes life again never to die again and exaltation, 2:33, to the greatest and highest place. Resurrection is worthless if it is not recognizable, personal survival but we grossly underrate resurrection if we make it purely physical. There is, according to Holy Writ, the eternal intention of God to historic action in the person of the Christ (Ephesians1:6) to make family members out of enemies (Eph. 1:5), enemies here being persons naturally antagonistic to revealed religion.
In his sermon, Peter calls the listeners brothers and asks them just to think about the faith they already know (Acts 2:29) in light of the historical acts of the eternal God in the life of Jesus Christ. Then, Peter points the crowd to new faith in Christ, the resurrected, glorified embodiement of who God is and of what man can be. No, man will never be God; we are not the thing surpassing the Truth. Man can, however, fulfill the intention of the Father in Creation.
If, then, (or since, or due to this fact, or because) God walks among men in Jesus the Christ, then whatever happens to Jesus in resurrection is what God intends for each of us in relation to our humanity. We have recognizable, personal survival, in a glorified state, less than Jesus but equal to David, who was a king on earth (Acts 2:34), for even David never ascended heaven independent of natural forces, raised by the Father.
Confused? Me, too, but no need to remain that way. Peter’s sermon is to religious people with a background in Judaism. He takes them right to one of their greatest heroes, King David, and says, "Jesus is better than David. That is the Truth, not the thing that stands for it."
Who is your hero/heroine? Winston, Franklin, Hillary, John, Gandhi, the Buddha, the Dali Lama, Mohammed? Jesus is the resurrected One, alive today and exalted to a place on the right hand of God the Father. My God can beat up your god. Start printing up the bumper stickers.
Jesus is just better, according to Peter. He is, Jesus, the Truth that props up the thing. If you have trouble with religion, well, so do most people, but Jesus is highly spoken of both in and out of religious circles. In fact, He is the divine Son of God, God Godself, the Second Person of the Trinity.
Take Jesus for your own, be owned by Jesus. You will like His truth.
You will love where He takes you.