Speaking With Audacity
Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, losing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. — Acts 2:22-24
In this section of Acts 2, Peter, a Jewish follower of Christ, stands up and delivers a challenging message to Jews who have gathered for Pentecost. But first, he verifies a few things that travelers already knew about Jesus. First, he was a man. Second, he did mighty works. Third, he was delivered up for judgment. But then he makes an assertion. That all this was done according to their own Messianic prophecies. And there were many of these prophecies. But he does not stop here. He inserts a real stinger into his message. He says, "And you crucified him," using the power of the Roman government.
Honestly, that's a pretty risky message. It's risky to stand up before hundreds of thousands of Jewish people and tell them that what they just participated in 50-days prior was unjust. It makes me wonder what possessed Peter to stand up and speak with such audacity because I want to be that guy.
And I think there were a few factors at play.
First, Peter had previously made the mistake of denying Christ on Passover, and he was not about to do that again on Pentecost. Second, Peter was emboldened by the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. Third, Peter had witnessed the resurrected Lord with his own eyes, and his disbelief was now turned to belief. Fourth, Peter understood while Jesus's death was tragically unjust, his resurrection was a triumph over this injustice and all injustice.
So while Peter is delivering some bad news to Jewish people, he's simultaneously delivering some very good news. The best news. It's this — that Jesus might have looked beaten by the most devious, malicious, and insidious of our sin. But our sin will never defeat God's plan. Because God, as promised, raised him up.
And friends, when we really understand the good news, the gravity of the bad news is minute in comparison. So go with audacity into a world of bad news, fake news, broken news, and share the good news with someone who feels defeated by the injustices of sin.
ASK THIS: What Good News of Jesus gives you audacity? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Tell one person the Good News — that just like Jesus defeated your sin, He will defeat their sin.
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for loving me when I feel unlovable. Thank you for defeating the heinous sins of my life. Help me to share the hope and good news you have given me with others.
PLAY THIS: Rescuer.
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