Why Now? Why Me?

22 “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. 23 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. 24 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 … 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 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 … 36 ‘Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:22-36)
The Holy Spirit is very active in the Old Testament. He is mentioned in the second verse in the Bible and he keeps on popping up everywhere. He came on Moses to empower him to free the Israelites from Egypt. He came on Gideon and Samson and Saul and David and many others to empower them to rescue the Israelites from their enemies. He came on the Prophets to help them speak the words of God to people, and he came on Ezra and Nehemiah to enable them to rebuild Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was very active in the Old Testament but he would only come on particular people at particular times to empower them to accomplish particular tasks. As we saw yesterday, the prophet Joel predicted that all of this was about to change. Here the Apostle Peter explains why.

Peter explains that everything has changed because of Jesus. The Son of God has come into the world as the ambassador of the Holy Spirit. Instead of performing miracles through his own inherent divinity, he resolved only to perform miracles that “God did among you through him.” Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit at his baptism and he ministered to people as the perfect conduit for the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.

Peter then explains that Jesus surrendered his body to his executioners in order to impart his perfect life to you and me. He allowed his body to become a corpse so that our own souls and bodies, so steeped in sin, could perish with him and be laid in the tomb alongside him. When Jesus rose from the dead, he left his graveclothes behind in the tomb, and he also left our old lives there with them. After his resurrection, he ascended to heaven in glory and at last received authority from the Father to pour out the promised Holy Spirit on all of his followers. Not merely on particular people at particular times to perform particular tasks. Because people can now be fully cleansed through Jesus’ blood, we are all able to receive the Holy Spirit at all times to empower us in all that we do.
  1. Try to summarise what you have learned today in your own words. How has the coming of Jesus changed everything when it comes to our experience of the Holy Spirit?
  2. How is this the answer to the question: “Why me?” What happens to our doubts and insecurities when we shift our gaze off ourselves and onto Jesus?
  3. What would you have said to Peter if you had heard his sermon on the Day of Pentecost? Praise God, one greater than Peter is with you right now. Tell Jesus what you think of this promise and what you want him to do for you.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that your perfect life, your brutal death, your triumphant resurrection and your glorious ascension back to heaven have changed everything for me. Thank you that the gift of the Holy Spirit is for now and for me. Please help me to receive it in all its fullness for your glory, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Today’s Everyday Devotions were brought to you by Phil Moore, who leads our team of whole-church elders.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
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