As Easter approaches there will be much talk of the crucifixion, and the resurrection. The hope is this will invoke a response from both the Believer, and Non-Believer. Such a response can be illustrated in the book of Acts.
Jesus has just ascended into heaven after His death, burial, and resurrection. The Apostles along with the disciples who are gathered together in the Upper Room are left with no king, and no earthly kingdom. Only a last command from Jesus. To go and be His witnesses to the ends of the Earth. It is then at the right moment that Peter rises up to take his proper place in God’s story of redemption and begins to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. As people hear this they are reminded of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Some are moved. They are left in despair as they begin to understand their sin is why Christ has been crucified. Their reaction?
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-39)
This truth holds true not just for those in the Upper Room but it holds true for all of humanity. All of humanity has sinned against a Holy God. This sin has caused an eternal separation, but Jesus came to reconcile sinful humans to their Heavenly Father. The gospel must be preached accurately; in truth & love. I get it! It’s not pleasant to hear the truth about your depravity, and need for a Savior. But, it’s required! Without seeing this a person can just have an intellectual or surface response to Jesus. Thus, the message never pierces the heart. And right now what we need more than anything in this world is pierced hearts!