The opening chapters of the book of Acts reveal the transformation that had come over Jesus’ apostles. At His crucifixion, they fled from Him lest they be punished with Him. Yet, after His resurrection, they boldly faced the same sort of hostility that had previously cowered them. What accounted for the change? Two things.
First and foremost, they spent forty days experiencing Jesus as risen from the dead, never to die again. Uncertain at first, they quickly adapted to the wondrous reality that death had no lasting power over Jesus as it had over every other human being who had ever lived. Every day brought them more assurance that Jesus was indeed alive and would never die again. This forty-day period was concluded with His ascension into heaven – capping off any residue of doubt that humanity was passing into an an entirely new phase of existence.
Second, during the forty days Jesus took pains to explain to the apostles all that had been written about Him in the Scriptures. The apostles knew that the Scriptures foretold Messiah. What they hadn’t known was how thoroughly it had foretold of Him. Jesus revealed the many passages of Scripture where He had been taught, but that had previously escaped anyone’s notice. Flush and fresh with this knowledge, the apostles quote Old Testament scripture passages in the opening chapters of Acts (as well as throughout their writings) with unmitigated confidence and excitement. They had been brought to see an old book in an entirely new light and they were filled with energy to spread that enlightenment.
The apostles had a story to tell…and a script from which to tell it! How astounding that the script had been written well in advance, yet no one but the Savior Himself had been able to follow it! It was written in a mystery, but revealed in the outworkings of reality. Jesus Himself explained the story Himself to His apostles. They, in turn, boldly declared what they had seen and heard. The world was the courtroom and the apostles were witnesses. There was no need for a court stenographer, however, because all the testimony had been written before any of them were born.
In our day, we have lost sight of how much the Old Testament spoke of Christ. Re-read the book of Acts noting every time that the Old Testament is being quoted. You will be amazed at how much of it we have let fall back under darkness. Let us bring it all out to the light of Christ.
The purpose of this blog is to praise Jesus Christ in biblical terms.