What was it that changed Peter?
Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
Peter was the impetuous one, always eager to go above and beyond. When Jesus first told the disciples of his impending death, Peter was the one who jumped to his defense. He even rebuked Jesus saying, “This shall never happen to you.” And then in the Garden of Gethsemane, he took a sword and chopped off a man’s ear to protect the Lord. That was Peter.
And then Jesus was arrested, tried and beaten. What Jesus said to Peter was going to happen happened. And it frightened Peter to the core. When a servant girl asked him if he was one of the ones with Jesus, he cowered in denial. This once brave, impetuous man unraveled in the face of danger; so much so, he denied the Lord three times.
Peter was broken. He had boldly proclaimed to the Lord, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” Yet, when the test came he failed. And he was undone. But not as far as Jesus was concerned.
After his resurrection, Jesus met with Peter and restored him, instructing him to “Feed my sheep.” Then he told him, along with the other disciples, to wait in Jerusalem “to receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost, that power came upon Peter, and he stood before the crowd in Jerusalem as a bold witness proclaiming to all Israel that “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
What a change in such a short period of time! One that can only be attributed to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Peter was new and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. In this power, he looked into the faces of those who had crucified his Lord and offered them forgiveness and life through faith in the resurrected One. What an incredible demonstration of the grace of God!
And here is the good news. Every believer has that same power because every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
It was the grace of God by his Holy Spirit that empowered Peter on the day of Pentecost to fearlessly proclaim Jesus. It was the grace of God by his Holy Spirit that enabled faithful men and women through the ages to withstand all the world could bring against them. And it will be the grace of God through his Holy Spirit that will enable and empower you to boldly and courageously live as a witness of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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