“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b]the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1.1-5
Jesus is alive. He grave could not hold him. The cross could not contain him. The sentence of death could not bind him. Jesus overcame sin and the schemes of people and the devil and rose again after three days. And now, he is with the new church. He with his disciples, his followers, those who believe in him.
For over forty days he appeared to his followers and ”spoke to them about the kingdom of God.” How do you think Jesus’ perspective changed now as the resurrected Christ? Was he referencing heaven? Did he tell what true communion of God was really like? And then, on one occasion, as Luke writes, he gave them a command ”Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Now I could talk for days about what this look like, what it means for me might be different than what it means for you. To be baptized with the Holy Spirit, to meet God, for some, speaking in tongues, for others, an infilling with his love and grace, for all — an encounter with God.
Jesus’ appearance after the resurrection, his time with them for so long, his instructions about God’s Kingdom, and the promise of more to come was directed at making disciples and building God’s kingdom. Jesus appeared so we might know God. He came back from death and eternal life so we might be raised up and walk with him in the joy of the Lord, freedom from sin, and life everlasting.
This week I am at children’s camp, seeking his glory, spreading the gospel, loving kids and adults in a way that Jesus might be glorified. But I’m doing this only under the power and authority of the one who loved me first. Of the one who appeared, the one who was raised and the one who promised more of God to a people deeply in need.
I would like to invite you to join me today in telling the good news about Jesus. I invite you to share in his blessing of making himself known to all. To bringing new life, through the forgiveness of sins, to all you meet. Share it. Spread it. Live it. Allow Christ’s light to shine through you that the whole world might know. By his grace and for his glory. Amen
“Oh God, you are good! Thank you for loving me for allowing me to be your hands and feet. Save me from the gates of Hell and for holiness and Heaven. Come now, fill be with the power of your Holy Spirit. Allow us to know the truth of your love and see you daily in your Presence. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen