S (Scripture): Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know – 2:23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles. 2:24 But God raised him up, having released him from the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held in its power.
O (Observation) and A (Application): Peter is professing a lot of goodness here…but I’m going to focus on one word here: “pains”.
This word, “pains,” (in its original context) typically referred to the pains experienced in childbirth. These pains (I’ve heard and witnessed firsthand) are excruciating, and yet give birth to new life. The pain ahead is known (to an extent; that is, those who are pregnant know there will be some pain down the road). And even knowing the risks and the pain, we try anyway. We can’t help but seek out new life.
Jesus could do no other than to allow God’s will be done. And in his suffering and journey through death, new life is birthed. The powers of death were not able to hold Jesus back. Instead, having overcome death, experiencing the pains necessary to overcome it, Jesus makes new life available for us to grasp…wrapped up in a little white hospital blanket with blue and pink stripes.
How have you experienced new birth? Spiritually? Literally, as with bearing children? Have you gone through the pain of losing a child during pregnancy? In any case, my hope is that your hope is in The Lord…for transforming you, for raising children, or for mourning their departure from this world, we require guidance of the Holy Spirit.
P (Prayer): Spirit of Wisdom, grant us patience to endure suffering, knowing that you have overcome the most difficult pain to birth, in us, new life…life eternal. Amen.