Lent Devotional: Acts 2:1-41
by Jonathan Haefs
Acts 2:1-41 (click here)
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter aid to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:37-38 and 41)
Cut after cut after cut… through whips and thorns, hammers and nails… cut after cut after cut was applied to the flesh of Christ.
…cut in order to kill…
Then, just over a month later many of those people hear the news from the lips of Peter that they may have cut Christ in order to kill him, but he rose from the dead!
And now… cut after cut after cut… through the gospel good news… cut after cut after cut was applied to the hearts of the crowd.
But these were cuts in order to heal…
The people were cut to the heart, but like a surgeon, healing was the aim of this incision! The Gospel cuts… but it cuts in order to heal!
They repented when convicted. They were baptized… immersed into a new relationship with God through Christ by the Spirit. Immersed into a new identity as a child of God. The good news cut away an old life as they received new life in the Spirit!
This is what the Gospel does in us! And this is what the Gospel does when we speak it boldly in the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes… it cuts… but it cuts in order to heal. Often we fear to speak the Gospel because we know it will bring offense, it will hurt for many to hear it, it will cut them to the heart. But, we must remember the aim of Gospel incisions… healing and wholeness in Christ!
Do not fear to take up the surgeon’s knife of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Remember that it once cut you to your core but are you not eternally grateful that your heart was pierced! The Gospel makes cut after cut after cut… but not to kill… no… the Gospel cuts to heal.