Pentecost Peter or Passover Peter?

By Dave Henning / December 30, 2022

“From wimp to warrior in fifty days.  What happened?  Oh, how we need to know.  We admire the Pentecost Peter yet identify with the Passover one.  Our convictions wrinkle and resolve melts.  We determine to do better but struggle. . . .  make promises and fail to keep them.  We look at other believers and ask . . .’Why do I vacillate between the two in any given week.’ “- Max Lucado

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd.”- Acts 2:14 (NIV)

In Chapter 11 (“Speak Up: The Spirit As Tongues of Fire”) of Help is Here, Max Lucado talks about how Peter went from wimp to warrior in fifty days.  For in the hours before the cross, Peter denied Christ.  Because he panicked at the servant girl’s question.  And, as Peter melted down, Pastor Lucado states, Peter bleeped the very idea that he even knew Jesus.

However, in Acts 2, Peter announces Christ.  But on the eve of Good Friday, he failed to speak up.  On Pentecost, though, Max quips that no one could get Peter to shut up!  Baptized with the Holy Spirit, Peter received the Spirit’s power.

Most significantly, Pentecost was one of three feast days that required all Jewish men to appear in Jerusalem – at least once in their lifetime.  And many of those men arrived fifty days earlier to participate in the Passover celebration.  The men came from all over the then-known world.

Hence, the precise nature of divine timing.  Now – with the:

  • sacrifice of Christ accomplished
  • tomb of Christ vacated
  • person of Christ ascended to heaven’s throne
  • the apostles gathered in one place, in prayer, awaiting the power of the Spirit

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado notes, the Spirit came suddenly from heaven.  The Spirit filled the whole house where the apostles sat.  As a result, Max sees the baptism of the Spirit as perhaps a subtle reminder of the Spirit as gift.  Thus, Luke stresses the sovereign Spirit.  Rather than the activity of the followers.  What a moment that must have been!

Today’s question: Do you see yourself more as a Pentecost Peter or a Passover Peter?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Common folk into uncommon forces”

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Dave Henning

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