They Only Knew 4 Things!
What I always find so interesting about the story of the Peter's sermon on Pentecost is the lack of total knowledge that was found among the crowd. In comparison to these, we have so many more resources available to us that can lead to an answer on what is "right" in the eyes of the Lord. But here, we can see that the Holy Spirit has come upon the apostles immediately after appointing Matthias to apostleship.
"to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place. And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance" (Act 1:25-2:4, NASB).
So begins the miracles as we know of them. How crazy that must have been! The people of the time agreed--"these men must be drunk." If that was the immediate reaction, you can kind of picture the scene. I'm sure we've all been around that drunk guy who cannot pronounce a single word as he stumbles across the parking lot and fumbles his cell phone--maybe we've even been that guy. But these were not drunk. They were immediately given the miraculous power to speak a foreign language.
Therefore, this is the first thing the crowd at Pentecost realized. They now knew that these men were speaking languages that they, in no way, could have known prior to the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter then enlightens them as to the 3 other things they needed to know.
"this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for him to be held in its power" (Acts 2:23-24, NASB)."
Now the crowd knows that Jesus was nailed to the cross, died, and was raised again to life by God. He further explains that "...God has made him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified" (Acts 2:36)
They now know that these men are not drunk, they know that Jesus died and was raised again, and that God has made Jesus Lord and Christ. Now they need to know how to go about becoming "right" in the eyes of God. If what the apostle Peter was saying was true, these men needed to make a decision. They could continue mocking the apostles and their message, or they could change their hearts. It appears that they had a change of heard. In fact, the Bible says that "they were pierced to the heart" (Acts 2:37).
Once the crowd realized what it was they were mocking, they quickly wanted to change their minds and become "right" in the eyes of God. So Peter gives them their final piece of instruction. They ask Peter, "what shall we do?" To which his response was, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38, NASB).
This story is shocking to me. These men, devout Jews, were cut to the heart at the words of Peter. It seems to be the same story as told by many today. Every day people conduct business as usual. We raise families, go to work, spend time just staying busy. We laugh at the idea that something spiritual exists. We mock those who bring us a message of love instead of hate; peace instead of war; unity instead of division. But God's plan is still the same today as it was yesterday. His son, the Christ, is the only way to heaven and to true happiness. This Jesus, who was crucified.
If you know that you are one of those who are among the mocking, there is still hope for you too. The answer is simple: Jesus died and rose again, he is the Way to the Father, but we must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, we are truly "right" with God. Then, we have submitted to the will of the Father. Then, we are a part of a family that will last an eternity.
I hope you find this useful, I hope you find your answers, and I hope you will come to Jesus. He is for you.
Until next time.