287 - The Arrival of the Holy Spirit
OCTOBER 14 - Nº 287 Acts 1:15 – 2:41
Before long about 120 believers had gathered in Jerusalem waiting for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. At one point, Peter stood up and addressed the group. “We need someone to take the place of Judas (see #272 - September 29). Let’s choose a man who has been with us since Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River; someone who remained faithful through Jesus’ entire ministry and who witnessed the resurrection.” Two men were qualified for the position—Matthias and Barsabbas. The believers prayed that God would show them which man He felt was best for the task. The man God helped them select was Matthias. As the believers gathered to pray, thousands of Jews from all over the world arrived in Jerusalem. They had come to celebrate Pentecost, an important agricultural feast which took place 50 days after Passover. It was a time to thank God for the spring wheat crop. Suddenly, the sound of a violent windstorm came from heaven and filled the house where the believers were praying. What looked like tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of them. Instantly the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign languages. The commotion was so loud that the people outside at the festival could hear it. They ran to see what was happening. Although they came from many different nations and spoke many different languages, they realized that they could all understand everything the apostles were saying. “This is impossible!” they exclaimed. “These men are from Galilee. They can hardly speak their own language, yet we can hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own individual dialects! How can this be!” they marveled. Some of them made fun of the apostles saying, “They must be drunk!” Peter stood up in front of everyone and boldly explained, “These men are not drunk. It is only nine in the morning. This is what the prophet Joel meant when he said, ‘God will pour out his Spirit on common people’ (see Joel 2:28-32). You saw the miracles that Jesus did. Yet you crucified him. You nailed him to a cross and put him in a grave. But God raised him from the dead! He is alive, and we are all witnesses of that. He is now sitting at the right hand of God and has sent us his Holy Spirit as he promised he would. This is what you are witnessing. I want you to understand that you, the people of Israel, crucified Jesus. But God has now highly exalted him. He is your Lord and Messiah!” When the people heard this, they were distraught. “What can we do?” they asked. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can forgive your sins. Then you, too, will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” That day more than 3,000 people accepted Peter’s message and were baptized to identify themselves as believers!
Peter had always been brash—but he had not always been bold! As a matter of fact, the night Jesus was put on trial, Peter had been too frightened to admit to a servant girl that he even knew who Jesus was. But suddenly, with the help of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood in front of thousands of people and challenged them to accept Jesus as their Messiah. Are you willing to let the Holy Spirit use you? He will give you the boldness you need to share the good news about Jesus Christ.