Jun. 27. Preparation for Pentecost

Acts 1:1-26

The story of Jesus did not end at the cross. He had promised Peter and the other apostles a year earlier that He would build His church and would give the keys of the kingdom to Peter.

Jesus appeared to the apostles several times during the forty days following His resurrection from the dead. He assembled one last time with them and instructed them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which would occur “not many days from now.”

The apostles were still thinking that Jesus was going to restore the kingdom of David to Israel. They asked Him, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Jesus reminded them again of their mission. “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”

At this point, Jesus lifted up His hands and blessed the apostles and was taken up. A cloud took Him out of their sight.

While the apostles were still looking up, two men in white apparel (angels) stood by them and stated, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” The Scriptures also teach elsewhere that Jesus will indeed descend and we will meet Him in the clouds.

The apostles returned to Jerusalem from Mount Olivet and remained in the upper room, probably the same place where they had eaten the Passover Feast forty-four days earlier. While there, they worshipped and praised God in the temple.

There were about a hundred and twenty disciples, who met together. Along with the apostles were Mary, the mother of Jesus, other women, His brothers and other disciples.

Peter suggested the need to select another apostle to take the place of Judas, who had betrayed Jesus and killed himself. Justus and Matthias were discussed. Through a period of prayer and casting of lots, Matthias was chosen as the new twelfth apostle. Matthias had been with them since the beginning and had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus also.