Good Morning Brothers…
Easter is over.
The celebrations have ceased.
After the resurrection, Jesus had to reveal Himself, explain Himself, had to prove He was really alive, and had to empower His followers to press on. In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 20, verses 11-18, Mary saw Jesus and thought He was the gardener, until He spoke her name. Then she recognized Him as her risen Lord. In the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 24, verses 13-35, Jesus explained Himself to travelers on the road to Emmaus by explaining how the Scriptures speak about Him. They recognized Jesus in their hearts while listening to Him speak but did not recognize Him with their eyes until He broke bread and shared it with them. In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 20, verses 24-29, Jesus appeared in the midst of His disciple again. This time, Thomas, who said he would not believe unless he saw the wounds inflicted by the crucifixion, was also present among them. Jesus approached Thomas and showed him His wounds. Thomas recognized Jesus because Jesus proved His wounds. At the shore of the sea of Galilee during breakfast, in chapter 21 of the Gospel of St. John, Jesus empowers His followers. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 28, verses 16-20, Jesus empowers His followers before the ascension, delivering to them the ‘great commission’.
Acts 1:1-11 says, “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Brothers…in order for us to reveal Jesus, explain Jesus, prove Jesus, and empower others to live for Jesus, we must first be crucified. Our crucifixion is a daily thing. We must continually die to self in order to live for Jesus, bearing His name and His authority. After the resurrection is ‘work time’, and we have been given every tool needed to complete the mission. May we not stand around gazing into the sky, looking for Jesus to come back. He will come again in the same way…supernaturally and mysteriously. In the meantime, we need to get after our Lord’s business.
There is a whole wide world that needs grace, needs love, needs mercy…and we are just the guys to do it. We have been empowered to carry His message. Lets get after it.