And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” — Matthew 20:17-19
I wonder what it must have been like when Jesus, in the flesh, told His closest friends that He was going to die. He had been speaking these things to His disciples for quite some time, and they did not understand, nor believe what He said (Matthew 16:21-23).
Remember, Jesus’ closest friends and followers did not have the completed Word of God like we have today. They did not even have the Holy Spirit yet to help them understand the things that were personally taught during the time that Jesus walked with them (John 14:16-20). He told them that He would send the Comforter who “shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
After Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the disciples, He again spoke of this gift that was promised by the Father, and He warned the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, take a look:
Acts 1:2-9 ( KJV ) 2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
I meditate upon these words that I read in the Holy Bible and I believe the things that I have not seen physically. I believe that Jesus was present at the creation of the world, with God and the Spirit (Genesis 1:26; John 1:1-14). I believe that once we hear the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, that the Holy Spirit seals us with that same promise as a guarantee that Jesus will come back to get us one day — the Promise remains until the day we are redeemed by the Redeemer, Jesus the Christ (Ephesians 1:12-14; 4:30)
The disciples, in the time that Jesus walked on the earth, had Him in the flesh, but how much more have we? By the Power of the Holy Spirit, holy men of God (even some of those disciples to whom Jesus was speaking in our opening passage), were moved to write this stuff down. We not only recount everything that happened in times past because we have the Holy Bible, but we can also look forward to the Promise of the Father. That Promise indwells us and He is the power by which we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). He is the Power greater than fear (2 Timothy 1:7). He is the Power that helps us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 5:22-25). He is the Power which is more powerful than a two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), giving every believer the ability to discern good from evil, right from wrong, as well as the ability to speak with God in prayer, sometimes without even uttering one word (Romans 8:26).
How much more have we? We have Jesus, we have the Promise (Holy Spirit) and we have a loving, merciful, gracious and generous Heavenly Father. While we reside on earth we can call upon Holy Spirit to walk in a way that is pleasing to Jesus and Heavenly Father. We can use that same Power to help us speak boldly about the sacrifice that Jesus made for all mankind. We can look forward to the day that our Redeemer comes back to get us to ultimately spend eternity with Him in the glory of our Almighty God and Father .
We have so much more and all glory goes to God for that!
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 ( KJV ) 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Things to Think About and Do
1. Consider the liberty that you have in Jesus. Write down one thing that you will do today to show Jesus how much you love Him.
2. Consider how often you spend time in His word. Can you commit to reading one chapter in the Bible per day?
3. Read Psalms 1 and make notes of how many time throughout the day those things that you read came back to your mind. You will be amazed!