Experience - Day 11

Acts 2:22-36 NLT

22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him:
‘I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. 
26 No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. 
27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. 
28 You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ 
29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. 30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. 31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave. 
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. 33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘
The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand 35 until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’ 
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

I believe there are at least two things we can take from this longer passage today.

First, after 3.5 years listening to Jesus, Peter is finally getting it.  Sure, he had professed Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 8:29), but Peter’s version of the Messiah was different than Jesus’ version.  Peter knew that now.  He now knew the Messiah had to die to save us all, and, to usher in the kingdom of heaven here on earth.

Though we’re not exactly sure what Peter’s “Aha” moment was, we know it could have been in the upper room, or on the beach when Jesus fixed them some fish, or maybe, it was right as the Spirit filled him.  Jesus said, “When the Spirit comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13). Either way, we can have hope, that if a stubborn, selfish, impulsive fishermen can spend 3.5 years in the presence of Jesus before he finally began to understand, maybe you and I shouldn’t give up.  Maybe we should keep pursuing Jesus to our “Aha” moments.

Secondly, Peter began to realize and show in his speech that he began to see the Scriptures differently, in the way his Rabbi taught.  Jesus had told them, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39)

Eugene Peterson once wrote that without Jesus as the center of all Scripture, the guiding principle, the “controlling center,” then “the Bible is a mere encyclopedia of religion with no more plot than a telephone director.”  We must remember that if we look hard enough, we can find Jesus on every page, teaching, speaking, and revealing and even clearer image of God.  Thankfully, we don’t go about this business alone, for we have the Holy Spirit to show us the way.

  1. To our knowledge, this is Peter’s first sermon and because of the Holy Spirit, it resulted in over 3,000 baptisms.  Can you remember a sermon you heard, or a book you read, that had a profound impact on your faith?  What was it and why?
  2. Can you remember any “Aha” moments in your journey of faith?  Something that you struggled to understand, that one day become more clear to you? 
  3. How can we keep Christ at the center of our faith, the Scriptures, and all that we seek to do and say?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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