Text: Acts 1:8; 2:1-4:22 | Listen to Message
Power For The Present
When Jesus was crucified around Passover time, his disciples ran off into the night and locked themselves behind closed doors. They were paralyzed by fear and wrecked by despair. What if the people who identified them with Jesus came for them next? One way or another, their lives were ruined.
So how is it that just weeks later these same guys – and Peter in particular – are standing in the Temple during Pentecost and they’re boldly preaching the Gospel to the very same crowds who’d just demanded the crucifixion of their own Messiah? How is it that now they’re the ones doing signs and wonders, healing the sick and the lame? How is it that they’re standing up to the religious council, refusing to obey the order to stop talking about Jesus? How are these things even possible?
If the Resurrection never happened and Jesus stayed dead, there’s no way to explain either this personal transformation or this evangelistic boldness. You can’t get that kind of power from a dead Jesus.
But the fact is Christ did rise from the dead, proving his power over sin, and death, and hell. And that risen Jesus told his disciples he was going back to the Father and would send the presence and power of his Spirit to take up residence in them. And Acts 2:4 says the Spirit then came and filled them with power. So when the religious council later asked Peter, “By what power or by what name are you doing this teaching and healing stuff?” Peter answers, “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead” (Acts 4:7, 10). A risen, exalted Jesus has all the power in the world!
So how do you live the Christian life today? Obedience isn’t about your willpower; it’s about the strength of the risen Christ who puts his Spirit within you. And boldly sharing Christ – when you know that testimony could be awkward or costly – isn’t about your outgoing personality or your persuasive words; it’s about the strength of the risen Christ who puts his Spirit within you.