Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jesus, Raised and On High – Giver of the Holy Spirit

“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

~Acts 2:32-33 (NIV).

We can only ever sit in awe of that resplendent day at Pentecost; never a Pentecost like that one before or since.

This kerygmatic sermon of Peter’s follows a distinct pattern that is followed, more or less, in all the major speeches by Peter and Paul in Acts. The best evangelists today still follow the pattern.

Witnesses of the Fact

We might have been born between 1,890 and 1,960 years after the fact of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension—three great historical truths—but we are still witnesses of the Holy Spirit’s work in this world today.

We are witnesses, indeed, to our own salvation and the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit within us. We see this occur too in others. We see the whispering of the wind of the Spirit swirling around us everywhere. God cares for this ailing world via his constant Spiritual Presence.

Simply, Jesus is alive, as is his Word!

Jesus, Raised and On High – In Our Hearts and Minds

If we wish it so, it is. Jesus is not some fabricated idol we place over our beings that has no power. Powerfully he makes his will and his Word known to us as we share in his resurrection life. This is sometimes not easy; God is compelling us to truth.

Peter connects all the dots for us as we re-read with wonder the events on that awesome day at Pentecost—the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s journey with us—Jesus carried through right through to the modern day until the very last day.

Of course, it is also stated in John’s gospel that the Holy Spirit was “breathed” on the disciples before Pentecost (John 20:22).

However this mysterious Holy Spirit comes—and it does enter our lives again and again, via our experience—we know it is continually with us; Jesus-placed. God is inside us, working within and through us, and through our interaction with the world.

For this we’re assured,

“... because God has said,

‘Never will I leave you;

Never will I forsake you.’”

~Hebrews 13:5b (NIV).

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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