THIS SERIES: BRINGING HOME THE FEAST
The Spirit falling on the first disciples was a noisy affair which drew a crowd. The men who had previously been hiding in a locked room, were filled with boldness and stood in full view of the assembly.
Peter explained that everything that the people had heard or experienced—the signs and wonders of Jesus' ministry, the circumstances of His death and subsequent rumoured resurrection, and the present occurrence, were all fulfilments of the prophecies of Joel and King David.
“Fellow Israelites, listen to this:
Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs,
which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know.
This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge;
and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross...
But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death,
because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
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: 22-24, 32-33]
But then came the punch line:
Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this:
God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.
Not only was Jesus the long-awaited Messiah, He was also 'Kyrios' meaning 'One supreme in authority'.
The Jews of that day knew about kyrios. Caesar was ‘Kyrios’, the one who could annex property and enforce labour, the one who demanded absolute obedience, and had the power of life and death over his conquered people, the one who asserted his authority through his appointed officials and powerful military presence.
And the crowd suddenly got it. Revelation entered their hearts and they saw who Jesus was, what He had done, and that He was now the exalted King of Kings and Lord of Lords, sitting in the seat of Supreme Authority, above all authorities and powers.
And seeing, they had to make a response—they had to bow the knee. The Cambridge dictionary defines submission as ‘the act of accepting the power or authority of someone else’; for the audience that day it was about yielding their lives to Jesus’ authority.
This was at the heart of their repentance—being literally or metaphorically face down before the King Jesus, and acknowledging His total sovereignty—and being prepared to change the old way of thinking and acting, to reflect this new allegiance, this new Master.
And nothing’s changed, we all have that same decision to make; Jesus is still Kyrios, and today, we, like the first century believers have to decide what we're going to do about Him.
As we celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, let’s make it a personal festival of decision. Let’s lay our lives before Him once again, and bow down before the King of Kings!
THIS WEEK’S GRACE RHYTHM:
NEXT WEEK: CELEBRATING PENTECOST: FESTIVAL OF POWER
A commissioning and anointing...
GET IN TOUCH...
[Photo credits: Paul Zoetemeijer (round window); Savannah W (tee-shirt); Allec Gomes (matches) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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