Acts 4:33 (KJV)
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them all.”
“Wait in Jerusalem until you are empowered by the Holy Spirit”.
The story is incomplete when we only speak of the events of the resurrection and not the results. In Acts 4:33, we see that there was great power in the apostle’s witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This verse makes it clear that power and grace were occurrences that were inseparable. God’s presence, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the resurrection, brings the manifest presence of our Lord. If we look at the resurrection as a past event and do not understand that today the same power and grace are available to us as a church, then we miss the true story of the resurrection. I will be so bold as to say that the proof of Jesus’ resurrection is His manifest power and grace in the church. With that in mind, no wonder we see continuing occurrences of the Holy Spirit’s work manifest to give witness to our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Again in Acts 5 the Sanhedrin command the apostles not to speak in the name of Jesus. The result was that they ceased not to speak and preach of the Lord Jesus.
One of the last events that I will draw your attention to of our resurrected saviour is the story of Stephen. This man upon being stoned to death saw the heavens open and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Acts 7:55 says Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit; looking steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. The final words of Stephen were calling on the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit. He knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lay not this sin to their charge”. It appears as though our resurrected Lord is there for the death of His saints. One of the most comforting things about the resurrection of our Lord is that He also gives witness to us that in our death He is there with us. Not only is there power and grace to live, but there is power in grace to die well. It affirms the words of Jesus when He said, after His resurrection, “I am with you always even unto the end of this age". Finally, we know that God is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit, giving witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ of which we celebrate this day and give praise to God for His abundant grace and goodness.