Who Is Lord of the New Decade? Acts 2:1-41
Jan 19, 2010 by Craig Blomberg | 0 Comments
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."' Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” (Acts: 2:32-36, TNIV)
A new year has arrived. People hope for a better future. They make resolutions about self-improvement, most quickly broken. We hope for a world we will like more by trusting in political processes, economic systems or religious institutions. Some still think humanity is inherently good and can solve its own problems. Many believe in technology as a Savior.
Things were little different in the first-century Roman empire. The emperors were called “Lord” and “Savior,” announcing the “good news” of peace and prosperity their reigns would provide. Greek philosophers dreamed of a more democratic era, while religious cults proliferated worshiping other gods. Jews stood out as odd, believing in only one God, and one you couldn’t see or visually represent.
In this world, during the Pentecost harvest festival in Jerusalem late May, A.D. 30, a Jew named Simon Peter declared to throngs from all parts of the empire that a self-styled rabbi executed fifty days earlier by the ruthless Roman regime was not only alive again but ascended to heaven as Israel’s liberator and Master of the universe. To most, the message was incredible, but the miracle of everyone hearing the disciples speak in their native languages led some to believe.
1,980 years later, over two billion people profess belief in this Jesus. Only God knows how many are true Christians. Those who are have received complete forgiveness of sins (v. 38). No other religion or worldview even claims to be able to do this, much less has ever delivered. Now that’s worth celebrating any new year.