Relevant Text: Acts 2:38-39
Full Text: Ezra 2, Acts 2

Redemption | There’s no better way to begin the new year than with the reminder that the One who sits on the throne of the universe says, “Behold, I am making all things new” [1] – a promise so important that its certainty is reinforced: “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” [2]. Indeed, everything in history – including the events of our lives – connects with the great work of God in the redemption of Christ [3]. It works the same today as it has in the past.

Tragedy | Pharaoh finally got it. After the angel of death swept through Egypt, killing every firstborn child (even his own) except those whose doorposts were sprinkled with the blood of the Passover Lamb, Pharaoh freed the Israelites from slavery. Fifty days later, Moses descended Mount Sinai with stone tablets containing the Law of the Lord [4] and was shocked by what he saw. The people of the Lord were worshipping a golden idol. He shouted, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me” [5]. When only the Levites came, however, he told them to kill the others [6]. Three thousand people died that day.

Salvation | Fifty days after the firstborn Son of God was slain, the Spirit came down and wrote the Law of the Lord on hearts of flesh [7]. Peter then explained the gospel: “God has raised this Jesus to life … Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear” [8]. The crowd was cut to the heart and asked how to respond. He answered, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins[9]. In other words, the sprinkled blood of Jesus the Passover Lamb spares those who trust in him and releases them from slavery to sin. Three thousand people were saved that day.

Prayer | Lord, We ascribe greatness to you because your salvation – not our sin – is the last word. Today, as we look back on the past year, we confess that we have been great sinners. Yet, rooting our hearts in your redemption, we confess that you are a great Savior. Therefore, redeem our past and increase our faith to believe the certainty of your promise to make all things new. Let us not be overcome by guilt, but anxious for glory. Amen.



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[1] Rev. 21:5 ESV  |  [2] Rev. 21:6 ESV  |  [3] See Jonathan Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption. 1789. The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University. (“The Work of Redemption is a work that God carries on from the fall of man to the end of the world.” – based on Is. 51:8b).  |  [4] Ex. 31:18 ESV  |  [5] Ex. 32:26 ESV  |  [6] Ex. 32:27 ESV  |  [7] Hence the reason that Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32.  |  [8] Acts 2:32-33 ESV  |  [9] Acts 2:38-39 ESV