Devotional Word for Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost was his response to the crowd’s question, What does this mean? [Acts 2:12] We believe Peter was filled with and blessed by the Holy Spirit. His remarks were not prepared remarks, but his spontaneous response to the questions of the crowd. We believe Peter’s remarks were inspired. They present a good summary of how a person’s mind is renewed by the true gospel of God, that is, Peter’s sermon demonstrates the foundational stones which must be in place for a Christian worldview. Remember what we’ve seen thus far:
First, in answer to this question, Peter said this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel. [Acts 1:16] Peter is learning to view life through the lens of Scripture. Of course, the events leading up to Pentecost were uniquely sovereign because God’s plan for redemption was being fulfilled. If one does not have a scriptural lens through which to view events, then one cannot see God at work.
Second, Peter pointed to the Lord Jesus, or, as he speaks of Him here: Jesus the Nazarene. In pointing to Jesus, Peter pointedly shows the outcome of human sin. The one truly innocent Man in all of history is nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men at the instigation of established leaders. This ought not to happen. But it did. Peter’s words indicate that despite the horrible sin involved, this was part of God’s predetermined plan. In fact, it was something like a mousetrap. It caught the devil. Satan bit the bait and had Jesus killed. However, the execution of Jesus was the key event to bring God’s plan for redemption to fruition.
Third, Peter proclaimed that Jesus is, in fact, the Son of God, the Messiah. In their arrogance and willful ignorance, the experts and the elites misread and falsified Scripture and history and the times in which they lived. Peter points to Christ’s resurrection as confirmation of the Messiahship of Jesus the Nazarene. The resurrection is impossible apart from the sovereign intervention of God, the Almighty. Jesus the Nazarene was raised up to life, never to die again.
That’s what we’ve talked about in these devotional thoughts in previous days. Today, we want to identify a fourth foundational stone. In Acts 2:33, Peter says this: Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. Remember the original question, What does this mean? Here is Peter’s direct answer: Jesus the Nazarene now reigns at the right hand of God!
Let’s allow that to sink in a bit. Jesus reigns at the throne of God right now. The throne of God is the throne of the entire universe. It is The Throne. What the crowd sees and hears, Peter says, is directly from the One who is King of all! Things which cannot happen – fire on the heads of folk without burning them, people speaking in languages they do not know, the noise of a violent wind without any evidence of its destructive force – are happening because of King Jesus. He has a plan and a purpose. It is His intention to accomplish His plan and His purpose through His redeemed people. But they need help. Therefore, He sends upon them the most powerful Helper in the universe: the Holy Spirit.
How helpful is He? Well, Peter and the followers of Jesus are standing in the midst of thousands of people declaring the gospel, sharing the good news of Christ. I’d say that’s pretty potent help!
You and I are followers of Jesus, too. My encouragement to us today is this: remember that Jesus is King of All. He reigns. He’s the One we serve. He’s the One we want to please. He’s the One about whom we bear witness. The realization that Jesus reigns is what allows us not to live or think like all the rest of the world. I love what the hostile Thessalonian crowds said about the Christians: . . . they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Jesus. [Acts 17:] May we also live according to the standards of Jesus, our King, not by the standards of the world.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You reign right now over all the universe. May that knowledge shape our minds and inform our actions so we do, in fact, share the aroma of Jesus wherever we are. We ask You to intercede for Your people in all places where they are this day – whether near or far, in tranquil or stormy situations – and keep each one in Your care. May Your name be raised and may Your name be praised. Amen.