13th April 2020

Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (ESVUK)

At his trial Jesus’ accusers were getting nowhere as he stood before them without saying a word. The Council was in danger of failing to convict Jesus till the high priest used the oath of testimony which a prisoner was bound to reply to, but which was illegal in a trial for life. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed,” he demanded? Jesus answers: “I am.” It’s the answer that leads to his death (Mark 14:61-62).

Meanwhile Peter was close by in the courtyard, warming himself by a fire, when one of the High Priest’s servant girls spotted him and realised that he was with Jesus. Peter denied it. Peter escaped into the porch but there was no getting away from the accusations. He had been seen in the garden with Jesus just a few hours earlier and then he was betrayed by his Galilean accent. Is he going to own up that he was one of Jesus’ disciples? Cursing and swearing, Peter is adamant: “I am not!”

The cock crows. Peter is in sight of Jesus who turns to him and Peter remembers that Jesus had already told him that he would deny him. Jesus does not abandon him, but goes to his death for him. ‘I am,’ Jesus affirms, for the sake of the one who says ‘I am not.’

Peter had seen all Jesus’ miracles and even seen him transfigured on the mountain. He had just eaten with him and heard him predict that all of the disciples were going to run. Peter had insisted that even if everyone rejected him, he would not. Jesus had warned him that he would betray him three times before the cockerel crowed twice. Peter then upped his commitment and stated vehemently that even if he had to go to prison or die with him, he would not deny him. But he does.

Jesus expected Peter to betray him – and to return to him. Over a barbeque breakfast of fish after his resurrection he made sure that Peter would do so. At Pentecost the power of the Spirit transformed Peter. Now Peter was ready to face anything that came his way. He delivered a blistering sermon to the gathered crowd and thousands turned to their Saviour Jesus, the Christ.

Saviour, we can lack courage and like Peter we are helplessly inadequate in our own capacities and so often unaware of our own inadequacies, but through your power you will teach us, bring us to you and give us the power to be transformed.

Study by Hilary Buck

About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes.
Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion in Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting Time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: lewes@gracecom.church

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