"Ten Days Later"
This sermon is not a part of the 40 days after the resurrection, but what happened ten days later, 50 days after Passover, at a feast called Pentecost. It is here that we close this series of post-resurrection stories.
Ten Days Later
A. The giving of the Law by God to Moses was an occasion that touched every Hebrew gathered at the base of Mount Sinai. On the third day as the waited, God descended. Ex. 19:16-20 describes that day for us. The power of God came and the Law of God was given.
B. Fast forward 1500 years. God descended again, this time in the flesh as the Messiah, Jesus. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The message of God was now in living form. Jesus taught and disciple. But the physical life of Jesus had a purpose – to pay the debt of sin once for all. Jesus came as a Savior and the therefore the Christ had to suffer and die for our sins, be buried and rose again victorious over both sin and death. Yet, his physical from limited the message which he embodied. Another helper needed to come – one that Jesus had talked about during his ministry – the Spirit of God.
C. READ Acts 1:4-5. Fast forward 10 days, to time of year we call Pentecost. A time the Jews called the “Feast of Weeks or Harvest.” It takes place 50 days after the Passover. In the OT it was associated with the Day of First Fruits. Over the years, the Rabbi connected it also with the giving of the Law believing that took place 50 days after they left Egypt.
I. A Pentecost to Remember
A. When we open Acts 2, we see that they were doing exactly as Jesus told them. As they were gathered together the Holy Spirit came upon them, filling them in a way they had not been filled before. Luke describes what happened that day in Acts 2:1-4.
B. But since God is so great and picks just the right day and time, we see that many who had come to Jerusalem from every nation under heaven were bewildered at the noise of God and they heard these men speaking in the hearer’s own native language.
C. The question they had as they were gathered was “Are they not all Galileans?” That was not a compliment. But they were amazed and at a loss for the meaning because what they were hearing was the wonderful works of God.
D. But not everyone in this huge mass of people believed or liked what they heard and some of them made of the apostles and began to say, “They have had too much wine.” It is that this point, with God having set the scene for us and brought together a world-wide audience that Peter speaks. This Pentecostal message has not changed.
II. The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
A. READ Acts 2:14-17a. Peter’s defense is that what all of these Jews are witnessing is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was not void under the Law. He was not some small part of God that the Jews had no idea existed. Instead, they Jews saw the Holy Spirit as the very power of God at work and when he rested upon people they became the voice of God to the people.
B. What the people needed to understand is that God is at work among men again. The Spirit of God has come in such power as to allow great miracles to take place, revelation to be given, and hearts to be broken before God. So Peter takes them to the prophet Joel who talks about Israel in the “Last Days.” They understood that terminology. It was a call to the nation of Israel to repent! This was the beginning of the end times and God was revealing himself. Now they were being called into account for what had taken place.
C. Peter is challenging them at this time of Feast of Harvest to see the outpouring of God, not in a grain like wheat, but in working of the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit that Joel wrote about is here. Most Jews would have had a difficult time accepting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for they believed he only came upon a select few, those who represented God and spoke for Him to the people. Peter was going to challenge their view of the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of people.
III. The Messiah
A. The main body of the sermon we have recorded is verses 22-36. It has as its main point that Jesus was the Messiah and they murdered him. His actions should have spoken volumes about how God was with him and anointed him as the Christ.
B. Listen to his opening in verses 22-24. Until a person is convicted that he or she is a guilty through their sin of killing Jesus no sacrifice will help them. The problem we have today is too many of us see ourselves as good. Peter wanted them to see themselves as guilty.
C. I want that to sit with you for a moment. You may say, “I didn’t drive any nails into his hands, I did cry out to crucify him.” Yes you did. The moment you desired something other than God and walked into the darkness of sin, you cut yourself off God. But God so loved you that he couldn’t and wouldn’t leave you to die in your sin, so he became flesh and through the human form of Jesus became the anointed one who died on a cross for me. But I spurned his love. I tramped that offering, for what? A few moments of pleasure? A lustful look? A covetous desire? Greed? Anger? Bitterness in my heart and hatred to those who wronged me? Is that what was so important that I could desire those things and emotions so much that Jesus death was meaningless? Don’t tell me I am not guilty of nailing him to the cross. It was sin that drove in those nails and I am a sinner.
D. But as Peter drove home point of personal accountability he wanted them and us to know that death could not keep him. Acts 2:32-33.
A. The ending of his sermon is one that calls for personal conviction. (verse 36) Understand, if you are here today and have allowed any sin to enter your life, you stand in the same place as those on the day of Pentecost. Understand and know this, God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.
B. The wait of the guilt upon some of the people there was tremendous. They understood that they killed the Messiah and God raised him and took him back to the throne of heaven. But now what? Is all lost? Is there no home in these last days? Is the wrath of God so great that He will again allow us to go into exile?
C. Read along with me Peter’s answer (vs 38-41). The calling of personal repentance stands before us today. We can either choose to let Jesus be our Master (Lord) and ruler of our life or we can choose to go it alone. That choice is still yours.
D. If you have sin in your life, the calling is to repent; to leave your life of sin and turn to Jesus. The second calling is to be baptized. They understood that baptism was a spiritual cleansing. It brought about forgiveness of sins. Therefore they were baptized in the name of and through the authority of Jesus Christ. The one they, and we, have murdered is the only one who has the authority to remove sin. His death and resurrection gave me the chance to die to my sins and be raised again in him.
E. But Peter closes with one thing that must have shocked them all. This same Holy Spirit that had empowered these men to speak in tongues was being offered as a gift from God to all who would be baptized into Jesus. As Jesus was the fullness of the godhead in bodily form, when we repent of our sins, accept Jesus as Lord of our lives, are baptized into him by being immersed in water, God steps into our lives and makes his home in us. If you thought Jesus walking on the earth for 33 years was great, think of what it is like to have God living in you every moment of every day.
F. This gift of God is offered to you today just as Peter offered it to the people of his day. Will you walk away from your sins, be baptized into Jesus and walk in step with the Holy Spirit? Is God calling you to come to him this day in a life changing manner? If we can help you become one with God through Jesus, then come as we stand and sing.
May God Bless You,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister