Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: What the Holy Spirit Did at Pentecost

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

How the Holy Spirit works can best be seen at Pentecost. If Jesus' story had ended at Calvary, His life would have seemed a virtual failure. All His miracles and teachings would merely offer us an impossible ideal. Even on that last night of His life, His disciples were still arguing among themselves as to "which of them should be considered the greatest" (Luke 22:24).

And even after the Lord's Supper and the remarkable display of the Savior's love in washing their feet and serving them, the disciples were such cowards that at Jesus' arrest, trial, and crucifixion, "all the disciples forsook Him and fled" (Matt. 26:56). After the cross, these "brave" men holed up in an upper room with the door tightly bolted "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19). If the story had ended there, where would Christianity be today?

Even the disciples, who witnessed the crucifixion, didn't understand until the resurrection. Then everything came into focus. Christ was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). The most amazing reality of time and eternity had transpired before their eyes, and from then on they were constrained to tell what they had seen and heard with their own eyes and ears of the Word of life (see 1 John 1:1). Their pride, ambition, strife for supremacy, love of the world--all were crucified now with Christ.

This mysterious melting of soul was what the Holy Spirit did, setting the apostles free to cooperate with God. Always, when human souls are feed from the tyranny of self, it is as much a miracle as was Pentecost. Hammers and dynamite may blast rocks into slivers, but you can't grow a garden in gravel chips. Something must melt rock into fertile soil. The Cross, validated by the resurrection, alone can do it.

--Robert J. Wieland

From: Signs of the Times, November 1989.
Copyright © 2016 by "Dial Daily Bread."