GodReflection: Walk Toward the Quake
No doubt about it. Change quivered beneath the feet of all who walked the streets of Jerusalem. Over the past few weeks the earthquakes of crucifixion and resurrection changed the course of history in ways people were still trying to grasp.
The living Jesus had made appearances to the twelve, other friends and to over five hundred in the city. His apostles witness his resurrected body ascend to the Father and as he departed, they received instruction from another Angelic encounter.
Then six weeks after the resurrection on the day of Pentecost Holy power descends upon the group of a hundred and twenty believers.
There was the sound of a violent wind as the Holy Spirit of Jesus appeared like ‘tongues of fire,’ rested on the head of each one. The result being the crowd that gathered from across the world heard someone in the group giving a message from Jesus in their native language.
The one who six weeks before had denied Jesus now stands as a fully restored follower filled with the Holy Spirit and declares the gracious truth of the risen-ascended Jesus. Three thousand believed, were baptized and committed to follow Jesus the Messiah.
Surely, every resident of the city must have felt the intensity of change in the atmosphere. It was as if they could hear a faint roar and sense the ground beneath Jerusalem rumble. Pentecost was only the beginning.
God was about to shake a house. Another quake was in the air. It started with prayer time at the Temple.
As Peter and John arrived they were greeted at the gate by a forty-year old man who couldn’t walk. He could only raise his hand to beg. All of the world’s money couldn’t have purchased what Peter reached out to give him.
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God (Acts 3:6-8).
When Temple attendees saw what happened they crowded near to gawk and listen. The first few onlookers grew to thousands present in the temple court that day.
The apostle used the miracle to heal his listeners by the same power. Peter gladly explained how the man crippled forty years could no longer sit still. He had new legs to experiment.
You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see (Acts 3:14-16).
Peter’s address struck cords of remorse and hope powered by the Spirit. As repentance took hold, faith in Jesus started to take root. Healing began. At least two thousand more people would decide to placed their trust in Jesus and enter baptismal water.
By the time Peter’s sermon reached its highest point word reached the same religious leaders who plotted to kill Jesus. He had to die because he turned the heads of people away from them and toward God. Now, the apostles were following his example. They introduced access to God’s grace through the risen Jesus.
The priests and Sadducees heard enough. Resurrection was impossible. Their rules didn’t allow it. With the aid of the captain of the temple guard Peter and John were arrested and taken to jail for the night.
The stage is set. A quake is in the air. See you next time.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: A Quake is in the Air