Bold Enough to Share Our Hope (Part 2)

grayscale photography of crucifix

Acts 2:22  (Peter said) “Men of Israel, hear these words:  Jesus of Nazareth…you crucified and killed.  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.”

Really?  Peter said that?  It was the day of Pentecost and something amazing happened.  As the Holy Spirit’s presence was demonstrated in wind and flames and speaking in tongues, the most important effect of Pentecost was seen in Peter’s message.  The Spirit had equipped Peter and the rest of the Apostles that day with understanding and boldness.

Remember Peter on Maundy Thursday night?  There he was, standing in the courtyard of the High Priest while Jesus was on trial inside.  Numerous people approached Peter and suggested that he was a follower of Jesus.  And on each occasion, Peter figuratively hid from these accusers by denying that he ever even knew Jesus.  But now look!  It’s Pentecost and Peter seems very different.  Far from hiding, far from denying, Peter spoke openly, boldly, confidently about what was the heart of the Christian message.  “Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.”  There was no shirking back from the message on that day.  Nor would there be much hesitation on his part or of any of the disciples after that.  From Pentecost on, they were bold to share their hope.

We have the same Holy Spirit as Peter and the Apostles did.  That Spirit equips us now.  In Baptism the Holy Spirit came to us and gave us faith.  Throughout our lives, the Spirit has continually taught us and assured us through the Word that Jesus is Lord and Savior.  So that now we, like Peter, may boldly proclaim the hope that is within us.  Our boldness comes from the Spirit’s work in us and our confidence in the true Word of God.  We don’t back down, even if society wants us to.  But lovingly, certainly, we are like Peter on Pentecost, pointing to what matters most.  Jesus was crucified for us and for our forgiveness, and then rose from the dead so that we may have eternal life.  May we be bold about this, by the Spirit’s power!

Gracious Lord, because you have given to us the Holy Spirit, we know Christ and we know Your Word.  May we be bold to proclaim it lovingly so that others may know the hope that we have.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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