Ten days after ascending, the Lord Jesus empowered His followers on a special day called Pentecost, 50 days after Passover and His resurrection. Known as Shavuot, this was (and is) a Jewish festival commemorating the giving of the Ten Commandments; as well as celebrating early harvest.
In ACTS 2, Jerusalem was filled with Hebrews, from around the Roman Empire, celebrating this festival. While there, a large crowd of them witnessed Jesus’ disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit; which included strong wind sounds, flames on disciples’ heads and hearing them speak in unknown languages; as the Spirit enabled. There were 15 different nationalities of observers present who heard “Galileeans” speaking about “…the wonderful works of God” in languages that were from the countries where these observers were from. This phenomenon caused some serious questions.
Now freshly empowered to be a witness, as Jesus promised in Acts 1:8, Peter began declaring what he knew concerning the outpouring of God’s Spirit as being the fulfillment of prophecy; Joel 2:28-32a.
The apostle then continued with preaching the good news of Jesus’ resurrection; which also fulfilled prophecy.
Since this day was also the anniversary of King David’s death, who died before seeing the fulfillment of several messianic prophecies given to him, Peter used this opportunity to preach Christ as being the fulfillment of those promises, quoting Psalms 16:8-11 and 110:1.
Hearing about these prophetic fulfillments and Jesus’ wonderful resurrection, as well as their own part in His death, the convicted crowd asked, “…what shall we do?”
Peter told them all to repent “and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children…” and all afar off, as many as our God will call. He continued testifying and exhorting them to be saved, “…from this perverse generation.”
Before day’s end, around 3,000 were added to the Church by receiving Peter’s words and being baptized as instructed. Baptizing that many in Jesus’ name was not hard for them to do; since there were plenty of mikvehs – immersion pools – in Jerusalem.
By Acts 4:4, the Church had grown to around 5,000 men and Acts 4:31 says they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness.
If you have heard and believed the good news of Jesus’ death and burial, and His resurrection and ascension, as preached in Acts 2:22-36, have you obeyed Peter’s instructions in verses 38 – 40?
If so, have you been filled with the Holy Spirit and are you a bold witness for Jesus Christ, as He promised His followers in Acts 1:8 ?
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