Power From On High
Pentecost- The Power Arrives
We can all think of famous last words, but what about famous last promises? I couldn’t come up with a single one. But that’s exactly what we get from Jesus. Just before he returned to heaven, he promised his friends, I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, He kept his promise. The Holy Spirit, the spirit of Christ, settled on the hearts of every disciple. The result was that they became bold witnesses of Christ’s death and resurrection. Peter was empowered by the Spirit to explain what was happening. He shared the message of Christ’s death and resurrection, boldly and publicly, a stunning contrast to his demeanor in the last hours of Jesus’ suffering, especially his denial of his relationship with Jesus.
What a stunning turn! What was it that transformed these followers from scared, anxious, and doubtful, into bold witnesses willing to die for their faith? The power from on high, the power of the Holy Spirit at work in them. As we celebrate Pentecost, we are able to reflect on that incredible day and the incredible work of the Spirit that continues in our lives to this day. Let us be reminded that the Spirit brings about transformation- healing the broken, strengthening the weak, humbling the proud. The Spirit also brings about unity - we are reminded that we have all been given this Spirit of Christ, we are all in this together, we are all equally lost, and yet, in Christ, equally loved, so we cannot look down on others. And the Spirit is empowering- strengthening us to do what we would not be able to do on our own.
Each and every follower of Christ has been given this incredible gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit does not reside in you just to make you feel good or special, but to transform you - more and more into a reflection of Christ, to unify you - drawing you into community, into life together with other Christians, and empowering you - to be the witness/ambassador/representative of Christ on earth, in your work, family, church, and community. It would be an incredibly overwhelming task, if you were doing it on your own. Praise God, then, that you aren’t alone, you’ve been given power from on high.