The room was full of people and of prayer. Jesus had flown away. Through the clouds, He went. A number of them watched it happen. They were mesmerized by it all. At last, two angels arrived to get them moving again. These disciples left the Mount of Olives, the Lord’s takeoff point, and gathered in Jerusalem to wait.
This was what Jesus had told them to do. Power was coming from on high, and they were to be ready for it.
Jesus was gone for now. He’d been gone before. None of them could forget the long, tearful Sabbath that came after Calvary. The body of their Lord and Master lay in a tomb. Dead and buried, Jesus was. Then came that morning, that glorious morning, when He showed Himself alive to them. There He was at the tomb with the women and Mary Magdalene. There He was walking with two frightened followers on the run from Jerusalem. There He was in the Upper Room – perhaps the same room His followers occupied now – with an announcement: “Peace be unto you.”
Their fears and sorrow melted into joy as they touched Him. The scars of the Cross were the identifying marks of the glorified Savior and the resurrection life now coursing through His body. His hands, His feet, His side, He showed them again and again over the days as He came and went among them.
Another to Come
Jesus had told them of this time. He spoke of His going back to the Father who had sent Him. This was important and necessary, He said. The One He would send from above would lead them in Truth and carry them through the days to come. Yes, these words were heard, but the disciples’ frail human hearts and minds could only take in so much. They lacked the capacity to comprehend eternal realities.
The coming Comforter, the promised Helper, the one and only Holy Spirit would bring this to them. Their believing hearts, cleansed by the precious Blood of the Lamb of God, were now ready to experience a new and wonderful reality. The presence of the Lord would be in them. Made living tabernacles, temples of the Spirit, they would be indwelt with His fullness.
It was all about to happen just as He said it would.
The atmosphere of that room was one of total communion. They had lived through so much. They had seen wondrous things. They had heard eternal sentences. They witnessed magnificent miracles. The lame walked, the blind saw, the demons were dismissed and dispelled, the dead were brought to life. The great Light of the world had accompanied them throughout the hills and valleys and seashores of Judea and Galilee and even Samaria.
It was all real. It was all true. Everything that went on in their lives had led them to this place, to this small room in the City of David.
They remembered. They prayed. They hoped. They wondered: How long, Lord? How long? He will not stay gone for too long, will He?
A Breeze from Heaven
And then came the sound. It was a wind, a mighty, rushing wind. Perhaps its noise seemed similar to something the fishermen among them had heard on the Sea of Galilee, a body of water given to sudden and sometimes violent storms.
There was no panic in that room, however. This wind came not like that of a storm. There were no dark clouds and lightning. I think it was a fresh breeze, the kind that sailors hope for when their sails hang limp and their boats are going nowhere.
This breeze from Heaven came to lift them into the new and living way made by the Savior. These believers were about to enter into the Great Commission that Jesus had given to them. They were to witness of Him and make disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and in the uttermost parts of the world, He said.
It would start right then and there. Flames flickered above each head in that room. The baptism of fire had come to the followers of Jesus.
Out of their mouths, came praises to the Lord. These words flowed in the various languages of the people gathered in Jerusalem. This was no Babel-like scene. The Spirit orchestrated a clear and miraculous presentation of the Gospel during one of the major feast seasons of the Jewish people.
Once, a crowd had gathered, Peter stepped forward. There was no denying Christ this time. This Apostle used Scripture and power to deliver the Good News. His conclusion was this: “Let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).
The message cut to the heart of the hearers, many of whom pleaded to know how they might be saved. There was great response as 3,000 chose to repent and be saved from their “crooked generation.”
Power for the Chase
What is the point of this story for us today? I think I find it in Leviticus 26, a message from God to His called-out people. To Israel, the Lord declared that in following His way and commands, they would do wonders in warfare: “Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword” (Leviticus 26:8).
Just 120 were there in that room in Jerusalem. They gathered, they prayed, and the world has never been the same. Just a few true believers are needed to start a real movement of God. Are there five with you? Chase the 100. God will reveal these ones. His Spirit will put the words in our mouths. When there are 100, we will be chasing the 10,000.
Let’s believe in the mighty power of prayer. Communities need the witness sent from above. A holy breeze can blow through our meetings. God is at work. His fire is in us. Perhaps this is difficult for us to discern just now. But smoking flaxes He does not quench. Even flickering, fading wicks about to go out just need a little fresh wind to burn bright and hot again.
Pentecost can happen in us every day. Let’s believe God to set our hearts on fire for this time. We are called to this place to be His voice. Holy Spirit fill us now.