In the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4 confirms one of the most decisive events in the history of the plan of salvation: the inauguration of Christ into His post-Calvary ministry as High Priest and King in the heavenly sanctuary (see also Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:33). Through His high-priestly ministry at the right hand of the Father (Rev. 5:6-7), Christ is able to carry out the plan of salvation to its ultimate realization. As our Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus works to save us. Through Him, believers may have free access to God and receive forgiveness for their sins.
Read Acts 2:32-36 along with John 7:39. What hope and encouragement do you find in the fact that Jesus stands in heaven as our Priest and King?
The exaltation of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary was followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. Revelation 5:6 mentions the seven Spirits that are “sent out into all the earth” (NKJV). As we saw in an earlier lesson, the seven Spirits denote the fullness of the activity of the Holy Spirit in the world. At Christ’s enthronement the Spirit is sent to the church. This sending of the Holy Spirit is one of Christ’s first acts as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit meant that Jesus had appeared before the Father and that God had accepted His sacrifice on behalf of humanity.
“Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. … When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise, He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people”. – Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pages 38, 39.
|Read Hebrews 4:16 and Hebrews 8:1. What hope and encouragement do you find in the assurance that Jesus as Priest and King, has received all authority in heaven and on earth? How does believing this truth help you deal with everyday situations in your life and with the uncertainty of the future?|