Jesus promised an astonishing power would come through the Holy Spirit of God.
This would give the believers, who were frightened at His death and amazed at his His resurrection, the courage to preach the good news of salvation to both the Jews and the Gentiles. This they did.
The persecution that followed them has shown throughout history that to be a follower of Jesus would be no Sunday picnic. The true believer will be misunderstood in today’s world. In years past, a committed Christian could look forward to being burned at the stake or other atrocities. All the disciples of Jesus died martyrs’ deaths. Stephen was stoned to death. We could go on…listing.
Missionaries of Christ and messengers of the Good News have gone throughout the world serving the sick and the poorest of the poor. Taking God’s message to the world was the command Jesus left before his ascension into Heaven. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was the power God sent to them to make this command possible. Otherwise, they would have been the weak and afraid people who denied Him before His death. Peter, who became the pillar of the Church, said he never knew Christ.
Later, they were baptized by the Holy Spirit and miracles began to happen. They could understand one another even though they spoke different languages. They could heal the sick as Jesus had done. The message the believers were to take to the people was to be followed by a baptism with water. This usually was in a river, but baptism today takes many forms. The Power is the same. Power to be all Christ wants His followers to be is available to those who want it.
The salvation Christ brought cost Him the agony of the cross. Sometimes a Christian says he is “taking up his cross to follow Jesus”. Hardly is this true for most of us. Foxes Book of Martyr’s tells us of those who truly took on death and the Power was theirs to endure until the end. The Coptic Christians, as well as others, are suffering great persecution around the world today for simply being Christian.
Do we as Christians count the cost ? The power of the Holy Spirit coming upon those believers years ago is what Christians call Pentecost. This power was sent also to us. It is the third Person of the Trinity: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is real and will be your help in time of trouble. He will be your teacher. Do not be afraid for whatever comes your way, God will be with you. Simply call on Him to help you and make your way plain…..for He will teach you all truth.
HE IS RISEN….CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED.