Power of Pentecost
We’ve all anticipated events in our life. Graduation. Wedding. Birth of a child or grandchild. Attending a sporting event or concert. In the New Testament, the apostles also were anticipating a great event. Jesus told them in Mark 9:1, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” That day arrived on Pentecost in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles with great power and Christ’s kingdom was established.
The power of fulfilled prophecy: This amazing feat of speaking in tongues was not a result of drinking (v. 12-16), but the result of fulfilled prophecy. Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 — and just as God had always delivered on His promises, He delivered again. Peter explained that what the people were witnessing was fulfilled prophecy — Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
The power of a risen Savior: Jesus demonstrated who He was — the Son of God — through many miracles, wonders and signs (v. 22). Peter presented several arguments to prove that Jesus had risen from the dead, notably the apostles had witnessed the risen Savior (v. 32). Later in the New Testament, Paul lists several appearances of Jesus (I Cor. 15:4-8), and Peter and John also make statements about their “eyewitness” accounts of Jesus. His resurrection declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4).
The power of a Heavenly King: Peter demonstrated another fulfilled prophecy (v. 34-36). Psalm 110:1-2 prophesied a king sitting at the right hand of God, and Jesus fulfilled that, too. When He ascended in Acts 1:9, Jesus went to the right hand of God to sit on His throne as our heavenly King — a King whose kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).
The power of forgiveness: The most powerful aspect of Pentecost, however, was demonstrated in v. 37-41. Peter did not simply condemn his Jewish brethren as Christ killers. He preached to them the message of forgiveness by the blood of the very Jesus they crucified. No further sacrifice was needed.
The power to change: How do we know everything that happened that day was powerful? Because what it accomplished (v. 41-47). The response to Peter’s sermon was tremendous. But it didn’t stop there. These new Christians impacted the lives of others. Will you allow the power of the message to save you and change your life?
— Steven Matthews