In our Story, Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified in Jerusalem after the Passover. The resurrected Jesus has been among his disciples for forty days. That’s right. He did not just appear to the twelve followers called disciples either, but to countless people to show he really was the Messiah and to explain the Kingdom of God which they were all now a participant. It’s been nearly two months and Pentecost is approaching. Jesus is about to leave this earth and return to the right hand of the Father, but before he does he has some business to handle first.
Can you imagine the dependence his followers have developed for him during these forty days? We lost you once, there’s no way we are going to do that again? You can’t leave. Jesus spends one last evening with them. One last meal. One last conversation.
As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.” When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?” He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” – Acts 1:4-8 (MSG)
Jesus tells them to wait for what the Father has promised. When he leaves them, the Holy Spirit will come and totally overcome them (baptize them). What was an external symbol will now become an internal reality from this point forward.
When the Holy Spirit comes things will change. They will receive a certain power. When the Holy Spirit overcomes them, they will be able to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even the ends of the world. The message is also clear for us. When we are overcome by the Spirit of God, we will also be able to be his witnesses…where we live, where we work and where we play. We will be able to share his message of good news to those hurting here, there and everywhere. We will be able to look across our street and see our neighbors the way Jesus sees them. We will be able to develop relationships, discover stories and decide where to go next. We will be able to conduct ourselves at work the way Jesus would and treat co-workers with the love of Jesus. We will be able to celebrate life the way Jesus did, with the people Jesus was with and literally be life at the party.
There is more…definitely. See you Sunday morning…