“Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law” (Psalm 119:18)
Entering the great door of the Ancient Library we read these words inscribed in the archway – “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18
It is thus understood that we enter these doors with a prayer upon our lips. And right it is that we make such an appeal, for the matters written herein cannot be known or understood apart from that gift of sight and faith which the Lord of the Library alone can give.
There is a timeless beauty inside this ancient place. No cobwebs, nor dust; no musty odor of worn leather or parched paper; for the Caretaker tends to these volumes daily, breathing upon them a perpetual stroke of divinity.
The place is not dark, but full of light; and pulsates with a quietness that seems to carry in its embrace the harmony of a thousand voices which whisper through the ages in all these sacred pages.
“Be still and know that I am God.” It is an inescapable Presence that bids us enter and read.
“Let’s look in the volume of The Book of the Acts of the Apostles,” I say. And no one seems to be in disagreement, for this place has hushed us all into a unified compliance unto something far greater than ourselves.
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles — the man through whom these words were given us is a Greek doctor named Luke, who served as a Historian of those epic events that marked the beginning of the Christian Era. And he writes to a man named Theophilus. His name means “a friend of God.” Is that not you and I? Then may we know at the very outset of our reading that these words penned so long ago, were written with this moment in mind.
“Let’s see what Luke has to tell us about the grace of God,” I say, turning through the pages of his book. And the first reference we find speaks volumes in a single sentence. “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
Great events have transpired in the past few weeks. Jesus of Nazareth had been executed on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem, and three days later rose from the dead! The band of followers rallied in an Upper Room, where the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon them and unleashed them into the streets. Those who killed the Savior, were now insisting that His followers stop preaching in His name. Their threats were unpersuasive.
There is mysterious power connected with lives that are utterly dedicated to the Lord. Luke captures this and says, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33).
Grace, which we know to be the power of Christ to do God’s will, was in full display as the apostles made their case for Christ in the open forum of public discourse. And those who heard them experienced this power upon themselves as well.