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Like A Strong, Driving Wind
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). This comes at the end of the powerful speech that Peter gives after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him and the other Apostles in the upper room where they had been gathered together in the days after the resurrection. They had heard something like a “strong, driving wind” that suddenly entered and filled the room they were in. They saw tongues of flame that then parted and settled on each one of them. At that moment they were filled with the Holy Spirit and were moved to go out onto the balconies of the house they were gathered in and to proclaim the good news that Jesus Christ is Lord. The Jews who were hearing them were from many parts of the Mediterranean world and spoke many different languages, but they heard the Apostles proclaiming the gospel to them in their own languages. Many among them began to accuse the Apostles of being drunk. It is now that Peter, the leader, steps up and begins his speech. He knows his audience. They are fellow Jews who knew the prophets and what they said about the Messiah and how he would be recognized and how he would be treated. He pulls no punches with them about what they had done to Jesus. We might ask what his motivation here is. Is he accusing and condemning them for what has been done? Well, yes. But that is only the means to the more profound end that he, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wants to lead them to. His speech is intended to get the Jews to come to Jesus, to see him for who he…