Friday, April 09, 2010

In the days after the Resurrection

In these days following Easter, I have been wondering what must have been going on in the minds of the disciples in those days right after Christ's resurrection.

Something powerful happened -- the echos of their transformation reverberate even after 20 centuries. We know they were filled with fear at first. The Gospels report that they were behind locked doors -- probably for fear that a similar fate to Jesus' awaited them. Crosses were much too common in first century Israel to be sanguine about them.

They were also confused. Acts records that the disciples asked the risen Jesus if was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel at that time. That says to me they were still trying to fit the mighty sign of resurrection into their grid of understanding.

Jesus gave them a hint of what was to come: wait in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit....and receive power to witness to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1) That is just what happened: the disciples who were sheep without a shepherd on Saturday turned into lions only seven weeks later.

But now, not even a week on after Jesus returned from the dead, the disciples were still trying to put all the pieces together.

That's not unlike us as we joyfully receive Jesus into the locked room of our hearts. It is wonderful to believe in His resurrection and to follow him as Lord. But, it takes the power of Pentecost; the baptism of the Holy Spirit, to receive all that God has for us as believers.

For the disciples in those days right after the resurrection, Pentecost was still weeks away.

Today, as I try to look through the veil of centuries to see into the events of those amazing days, I am reminded again that ordinary men became lions. I am reminded again that resurrection power and the power of Pentecost are available to us today as well.

Lord, let me be filled with that Power of Pentecost again and again so that I can labor faithfully as a witness wherever you call me.