Acts 2:1-13 (NLT) says, “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. They were completely amazed. ‘How can this be?’ they exclaimed. ‘These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!’
They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other. But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, ‘They’re just drunk, that’s all!'”
The apostles have spent an amazing three years with Jesus – finally acknowledging Him as their long-awaited Messiah and Son of God. They have seen Him turn water into wine, heal disease of the body, mind, and heart, teach such as no one they had ever heard, and even walk on water across a storming lake! Then, when the masses realized Who He was and mistakenly wanted to make Him their Israelite king, things took a turn for the worse and He was horribly crucified!
Unbeknownst to those trying to get rid of Him, that was part of God’s plan too, but they couldn’t get rid of God Himself. After three days in the tomb, just as predicted, He rose from the grave, defeating death for all time!
As if that weren’t enough to dumbfound anyone, they watched Him rise straight up into heaven! But before He left the earth, He promised the Holy Spirit to them and gave them their marching orders:
“Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ ” Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
They knew they were to wait for the Holy Spirit, and had been chosen to carry the unfolding plan of God to the ends of the earth. Beyond that, they didn’t know much.
And then — yet another miracle! Each of these foreigners heard the apostles speaking in his own language! Many of these people watching were those who had been there to see Jesus crucified. Doubtless, there were those in the crowd who had screamed, “Crucify Him!” But when the gospel was preached to them and they grasped the enormity of their sin, they were grieved for what they had done and repented.
” Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike— and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below— blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives. But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away —all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. Acts 2:14, 16-24, 32-33, 36-41 NLT
Are you grieved for your sin, and what it cost the precious Son of God? The answer to that is still the same: “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sin.” God’s plan is still unfolding. Soon, He will come back to the earth, as He promised. This time, He will come to judge the world. For some reading this, there isn’t much time left. If His still, small Voice is whispering to you to come to Him, please don’t put Him off or turn Him away. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and there is no other Name by which we may be saved (Acts 4:12). In your own words, you can tell Him how sorry you are for your sin that nailed Him to the cross, along with mine and everyone else’s. Ask His forgiveness and commit to following Him the rest of your life. Then don’t forget to thank Him!