Peter said, “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:32, ESV)
The theme for the mid-week Lenten services at my church this year was Lent 2020. Since 2020 is the designation that eye doctors use to define perfect vision, our series focused on people who had perfect 2020 spiritual vision. That would be people who were eye-witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
The first person we looked at was someone who never actually saw Jesus, King David from the Old Testament. But that did not matter to the Apostle Peter. In his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter points out that King David did have perfect 2020 spiritual vision, he was an eye-witness of Jesus’ resurrection. This is what Peter said:
King David, “foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.” (Acts 2:31, ESV) David foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of Christ. King David was convinced – he saw it clearly in his mind’s eye – that Jesus would rise from the dead.
Peter, who was himself an actual eye-witness of the resurrection, puts King David on an equal footing with himself.
Another Old Testament person that could have included in the Lent 2020 series was Abraham. In John 8 Jesus gets into an argument about Abraham. Jews took offense to the fact that Jesus claimed to be greater than Abraham. To which Jesus responded in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
In connection with the tragic death of George Floyd there has been a lot of talk about witnesses. Everyone has seen the video of his mistreatment at the hands of the police.
This is not some courtroom where only the jury is allowed to see the evidence. With our modern means of communication everyone has been able to see the video of what happened.
And then as always happens, we have all made up our minds. I don’t know of anyone supporting what Officer Chauvin did. Of course there is going to be a trial and evidence may come out to change our minds but I doubt it. The video is pretty clear.
When it comes to the resurrection of Jesus we proclaim it, or, in this day and age, we share it on social media. But we do not tell people what to think about it. We can’t. Only the Holy Spirit can convince people to believe it. Our job is to proclaim the message, a message that is based on eye-witness accounts, and then let the Holy Spirit take over and convince people that it is true.
The Holy Spirit has been convincing people it is true for over 2,000 years and he is still going strong. The message is still that same: “Let everyone know for certain, therefore, that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus who was crucified.” (Acts 2:36, ESV)
Sometimes people make up their minds very quickly and come to faith is Jesus. The devil’s favorite trick is to get people to wait. They think, “I’ll decide some other day to work on my spiritual vision. I’m too busy right now to think about it.” Others simply reject the resurrection. Whatever the reaction, the only way to have perfect 2020 vision is to believe in Jesus as your Savior.
All three persons of the Holy Trinity are involved in this message. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. There is no way that the Father would have raised Jesus from the dead if Jesus had not completely and fully paid for all our sins on the cross. But Jesus did completely and fully pay for our sins on the cross so God the Father raised him from the dead.
And then the Holy Spirit is the one who causes the message to be proclaimed and believed. In a sense, the work of God the Father and Jesus are all done. Jesus died for our sins and God the Father raised him up. That has all been done. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job that is never done. He will not stop working to convince people that Jesus is both Lord and Christ until every last person believes. This is the only way to have perfect 2020 spiritual vision.
Even though they lived hundreds of year before Jesus, Abraham and King David had perfect 2020 spiritual vision; they saw and believed that Jesus their Savior would rise in victory over death. 2,000 years after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven we can have the same perfect, 2020 spiritual vision as King David and Abraham by believing in Jesus. Let everyone know for certain, therefore, that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus who was crucified.
To watch a video based on this blog post click here.