Day 6: Lift-Off (Acts 2:14-41)
Today’s Passage: Acts 2:14-2:41
It’s hard to take your eyes off of a rocket as it struggles to be free of its launch pad. Smoke and energy pours out from its engines as it shakes and begins to move. First creeping, then it slowly moves upward. As each second passes it gains a little more speed, and soon it is hurtling through the air.
I feel like it’s been a little like that for us as we have begun this study of Acts.
We’ve poured energy in. First, looking back to Luke’s Gospel. Then, digging into the Promise of the Father and the Ascension. As I was developing those segments, I had this inner restlessness. I wanted to get on to the action.
Yet, I know without getting things right, you might say at lift-off, we might have had a failed launch, or miss what we are aiming for.
In the dramatic moment we read about today, all the preparation has been successful. Peter points not to himself, because it is not about him. It is about God. God who is Father-Son-Holy Spirit.
In business, we are told to make sure we can describe our business, or what we are trying to sell, in less than 2 minutes. It is even better if you can do it in 30 seconds. We are also told to make sure we don’t talk about ourselves but about the needs of our customers.
Imagine, tongues of fire have just danced on your head. You miraculously can speak different languages. I would think you might be just a little focused on what is going on with yourself. And then if people challenged you, you would tell them.
You would tell them how you followed Jesus for three years. You would tell them, if you were Peter, how you knew very early on that he was the Christ. You might tell them that there are twelve of you. You would tell them all about YOU.
But Peter doesn’t.
God the Holy Spirit, through the dramatic moment of Pentecost, has captured the people’s attention. And the spirit-filled Peter, the Jesus-filled Peter, begins to do what will be the model for the rest of this book: pointing people to the Father through the Son, all in the power of the Spirit.
Starting with Joel, he unpacks just one of the Scriptures that speaks of the Promise of the Father. By drawing on God’s Word, he immediately moves them towards God.
Then he recounts the current events of Jerusalem. It has only been 50 days since Jesus publicly hung on a Cross. The rumors of his Resurrection are afoot in this ancient city. Again, using Scripture he shows them what the world did to the Son of God, that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Christ and Lord—and that they killed him.
They realize, with horror, their situation. That they have killed the Son-of-God. If you killed Jesus, God-the-Son come to earth, would you be filled with horror?
And perhaps we should, for a moment, pause and reflect, because you and I did: we killed Jesus. I did. You did. We did. You and me and we, our sin sent him to the Cross.
We, upon this realization, should cry out, “What must we do to be saved?”
And with stunning simplicity, we receive our answer: Repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit.
Three thousand did that first day of Pentecost. Billions more have since.
How about you?
Some reading today have. If you have, what do you take away from the Scriptures today? I am struck by Peter’s focus. He is pointing to God. If you know anything about Peter, he was kind of an “open mouth, insert foot” kind of guy. I resemble him. But now, empowered by the Spirit, he nails it. He nails it! He points people to God.
Some reading today, have not yet responded to the call of Jesus. Maybe you’ve been reading. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it. Can I invite you, before you go any further, to right now, ask God to speak to you, and when he does, will you answer Him?
If you do answer him, this link can help you move forward: