“‘Dear friends, let me be completely frank with you. Our ancestor David is dead and buried – his tomb is in plain sight today. But being also a prophet and knowing that God had solemnly sworn that a descendant of his would rule his kingdom, seeing far ahead, he talked of the resurrection of the Messiah — ‘no trip to Hades, no stench of death.’ This Jesus God raised up. And every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Father, He poured out the Spirit He had just received. That is what you see and hear.'” Acts 2:29-36 (The Message).

Someone once said, “Life is lived forward but understood backwards.” The same can be said about prophecy. Until it has been fulfilled, it is obscure and does not make sense. Once it has been fulfilled, it all comes together in an “o-o-oh” moment!

Peter must have been in his element when he preached his first sermon. All the Scriptures that he had memorised as a child came flooding into his mind through the revelation of truth from the Holy Spirit. What was once a mystery was now clear and it came pouring from his mouth in a torrent of declaration and, I guess, worship.

His message didn’t take hours to prepare, writing copious sermon notes and practising in front of a mirror or preaching to the dog! He stood up, opened his mouth and out it came with a fire that burned deep within him. It was graphic, logical and convicting, saturated in the Word and revealing the truth which cut the hearts of his hearers

Imagine what would happen in our world if those who proclaim the Word of God were energised by the Holy Spirit in the same way as Peter was. His sermon followed ten days of prayer and waiting on God.

Just as the life of the believer is a partnership between us and God, so also is preaching. Sometimes there is so much effort put into the technicalities of a sermon that the result is a carefully structured and crafted work of art which has no heart and no fire.

Peter got his message on his knees. It touched his heart first before it could touch any other. It flowed from his inner being through his mouth like a river and caught the hearers up in the mighty power of conviction.

Step by step, Scripture by Scripture, he built the throne, not David’s throne which the people were longing for God to re-establish, but a far greater throne, the throne of Jesus, David’s Son, to whom all the prophecies pointed and in whom they were fulfilled.

David was the greatest of Israel’s kings and the model against which every other king was measured. But, like every other mortal, he died and the proof of his death was still with them. David had spoken of a greater king, his descendant, who would not be a victim of the power of death. He died, yes, but death had no grip on Him because He had no penalty of His own to pay.

Imagine the energy Peter put into his triumphant declaration, ‘This Jesus God raised up’! It echoed around the building, stunning the people into silence and stabbing their hearts with shock and terror. “We killed Him. He’s alive again. What will He do to us now?” But Peter was not finished with them yet..

Luella Campbell

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