God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as You sent upon the disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, look upon Your church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit. Kindle in us the fire of Your love and strengthen our lives for service in Your kingdom.
Who is this Jesus? Is this not the issue at hand, especially today - The Feat Day of Pentecost - the birthday of missions? Inquiring minds want to know. The sound of the mighty, rushing wind, the tongues of fire, the ability to speak in other languages - These were periphery concerns. The crux, core, and center issue was, and remains the person of Jesus Christ. Then and now. Who is this Jesus? What is His person? What is He about? What do you have to say about Him? What do you think of Jesus? He is indeed the Messiah, the coming Savior promised in the Old Testament Scriptures.
1. The Father prepared His Son’s Messiahship.
A. He planned it in eternity. This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. (Acts 2:23 ESV)
1. The death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was no accident. It was a destiny for Jesus from the beginning of time – even before there was such a thing as time, or the sun moon and stars, which we use to mark time. Before there were times and seasons; yes, before the dawn of time, the events of Jesus’ life were marked out.
2. The crucifixion of the Christ was the will of God. Lawless men carried it out. This says something about our time. We only know the past. The future we cannot see. The present we cannot always understand. Did those voices in the crowd crying for Jesus’ execution, really know what they were doing?
The ruling council – convinced that it was expedient – that one man should die for the sake of others. Did they really understand what they were doing? Did they really understand what they were saying when they shouted out with once voice, “crucify Him!”? Of course, they didn’t! And so, Jesus prayed for them and for you, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
B. He prophesied it through King David. For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ (Acts 2:25-28 ESV)
1. Jesus had to open the scriptures to the two walking the road to Emmaus.
2. The Ethiopian reading the Old Testament scroll was clueless as to what he was reading in his chariot. He needed Philip to explain it to him.
3. So it was on the day of Pentecost the Old Testament Scriptures had to be explained in such a way that the people could come to know and understand that the message is always about Jesus!
C. He corroborated it through Jesus’ miracles. “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— (Acts 2:22 ESV)
1. The miracles of Jesus were not random acts of kindness.
2. To the contrary, they were deliberate actions, which Jesus intentionally performed so that Jesus could prove that He was the promised Savior. He did them for you, that you might believe. Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31 ESV)
Jesus is proven to be the Savior by the clear testimony of Scripture. But He also proved it by His actions and His words.
2. Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated His Messiahship.
A. By doing miracles. “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— (Acts 2:22 ESV)
1. Babe Ruth stretched out his bat and pointed it to the deep outfield. Big deal, even I could do that. But then, he backed it up, by knocking the ball out of the park! Likewise, the miracles of Jesus were those specific actions, which He performed publicly to demonstrate His power to save.
2. Your life is never left to chance. The same Savior who stilled the wind and walked upon the stormy sea is shaping your life; guiding, directing, and leading you. He orders your days. He directs your path.
B. By fulfilling ancient prophecy. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ (Acts 2:34-35 ESV)
1. Every word of prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
2. Jesus never had a random day. Rather, we’re reminded, For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
C. By defeating death and hell.
1. By His suffering, death, and resurrection death itself has met its mach. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:26 ESV)
2. When Jesus descended into Hell, the Devil’s goose was cooked. Today, is Race Day in the great state of Indiana. When the winner takes the checkered flag later on this afternoon what does he do next? Of course, he takes a victory lap. And, if you’re a NASCAR fan, the winner will do a burn out in front of his fans. Jesus’ descent into hell is His victory lap through hell where He did a burn out right in the Devil’s face. Peter reminds us, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20 ESV)
Predicted in Sacred Scripture and demonstrated in the life of Jesus, the Spirit of our God speaks divine truth.
3. The Holy Spirit testifies to Jesus’ Messiahship.
A. He does this through the miraculous happenings of that first Pentecost. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (Acts 2:33 ESV)
1. On that first Pentecost 3,000 souls were added to the church in one day.
2. Does that mean we can expect 3,000 souls to come to Friedheim? I don’t know. But this I do know. He continues to add people to His church as He did on that first Pentecost by people sharing the faith and living the faith. The Lord will add to our Friedheim family those whom He calls - one person at a time.
B. He did this through Peter’s sermon and through Word and Sacrament today.
1. This is what we are called to do, to live and share the faith.
2. As He leads you live in that joy which you have in Him.
On this Pentecost Day, live in the true joy, which you have in Christ. Gossip the Gospel. Live the faith. Pass it on as the Holy Spirit directs you.