“In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’” - Acts 1:15-17
Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended to the Father. What a rollercoaster the disciples had experienced in just the past week! They watched as their Messiah was betrayed, convicted, then crucified. All hope seemed lost, but then it was resurrected three days later in the physical body of Jesus Christ. Once again, the disciples could see Jesus, touch him, hear him, and even eat with him. Though painfully brief, their reunion was a promise kept, a fulfillment of Jesus’ teachings. The disciples must have felt overwhelming joy and relief! Their faith was built on solid ground.
During his return, Jesus reaffirmed his promise to send the Holy Spirit, who would empower his beloved disciples for the mission to which he called them: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He assured them they would not be alone, even after he departed this world, and he reminded them to live as he had, in perfect obedience to the Father. And then he ascended into heaven, as the bewildered disciples gaped at the vacant space where he had stood and the empty sky above.
As Jesus commanded, the disciples gathered in the upper room and devoted themselves to prayer and fellowship. Twelve had become eleven; they had to replace a brother. Judas’ treachery must have caused intense pain, grief, and anger. After all, he had been their friend, a fellow follower of Jesus. And yet, he too had fulfilled scripture. His betrayal, like Jesus’ sacrifice, was foretold long ago. Peter draws on two of the psalms to reassure his brethren (Psalm 69:25 and 109:8). They would experience the same Holy Spirit that was poured out on David as he wrote those prophetic words.
Little did these men know, the excitement was just beginning. Life with Jesus had never been dull, but there was still so much work to do be done for the kingdom. And God would provide the power behind that work. For now, the disciples were called to pray and wait on the promise of the Lord. Thankfully, they could wait with full assurance and eager expectations. The Lord was faithful to every one of his promises. Everything he foretold would come to pass. Jesus was the fulfillment of the promised Messiah of Israel; Judas was the fulfillment of the one appointed to betray Jesus; the Holy Spirit would soon fulfill the promises of Jesus. The faith of these disciples was built on solid ground.
Is your faith built on solid ground? God’s promises are the one true thing in our broken world. May we know them, cling to them, and live in perfect assurance of the hope we have in this world and the world to come.
Reflect & Respond:
What is the Lord stirring in your heart today? Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to those places, to remind you of all the ways that God has been faithful to his promises. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!
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