"the word of the lord"
"Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them." —Acts 2:14
Put yourself in Peter's place. You're standing before several thousand people, many of whom think you're drunk. This is your chance to witness to the risen Christ. What are you to say? Will you mention that the risen Jesus personally appeared to you on Resurrection Day? (Lk 24:34) Will you mention Jesus' evening appearance or the one a week later when Thomas touched His wounds? (Jn 20:19-29) How about the time when the risen Christ told you how to catch one-hundred and fifty-three fish, or when He ascended into Heaven? (Jn 21:4ff; Mk 16:19) What about the risen Jesus appearing to five-hundred brothers at once? (1 Cor 15:6)
Surprisingly, Peter never mentions any of these eyewitness accounts of the risen Christ. Instead, Peter talks about Psalm 16 (Acts 2:25-28). This psalm burned in Peter's heart as a prophecy of the risen Christ (Lk 24:32). When Peter shared this, it did something for the crowd. They no longer thought Peter was drunk, but three thousand people asked to be baptized that day (Acts 2:41).
The word of God introduces us to the risen life. The word must come alive before we deeply believe Jesus is alive. When God's word almost jumps off the page, we know that the tomb is empty and He's alive. "Indeed, God's word is living and effective" (Heb 4:12). His words are "spirit and life" (Jn 6:63).
Prayer: Jesus, may Your word burn in my heart within a week (Lk 24:32).
Promise: "Jesus stood before them and said, 'Peace!' The women came up and embraced His feet and did Him homage. At this Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid! Go and carry the news to My brothers.' " —Mt 28:9-10
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who pours out His Spirit upon us.
Reference: (To learn more about God's word, we have a forty audio tape series of teachings on the New Testament. To start, order the four tapes covering Matthew, #700, 701, 702, and 703.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005
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