January 24, 2018

Jesus, the Living Messiah

Acts 2:22-38

You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead. . . . You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

—  Psalm 16:10-11

The wind of the Spirit howled on Pentecost. The fire of the Spirit burned brightly for everyone to see. People from every nation heard the wonders of God in their own languages. Why was God doing all this? He wanted to convince Israel that Jesus “was handed over to [them] by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge.”

The Messiah had to die, but he did not stay buried in a tomb; he was resurrected from the dead and exalted to the Father’s right hand. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter explained, “God raised [Jesus] . . . freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

In our scientific age many insist that life after death is just a fairy tale from an ignorant time. But the multitude of witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection and the powerful effects that millions of people have credited to the living Jesus reveal the truth of the resurrection. If you believe, God will not abandon you to “the realm of the dead.”

When people heard Peter’s message at Pentecost, they repented and asked the Spirit of Jesus to live in them. This is the appropriate response for everyone. Repent! Leave the concerns, vices, and failings of your old life behind. Receive the Spirit! Jesus offers you his resurrection power, his new mind­set, and his daily presence as a guarantee of eternal life!

Lord, I believe in the resurrection of the dead. Through your Spirit fill me with your new life today. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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