Hi everyone. Rob here.
Easter is nearly finished. I wonder if you thought that Easter finished with Christ’s resurrection? No. There was much more to come after that. Last week was Ascension Day when we remember that the risen Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father after 40 days of appearances and teaching with his disciples. This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday when we remember the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, bringing together a new community of people who would proclaim the great truth of the universe: Jesus is Lord.
These two events are the culmination of the work that started at Christmas when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:14).” They tell us that Jesus who lived, died and rose is indeed Christ the King who reigns on high. Pentecost tells us that the Holy Spirit will ensure that the mission of Christ will indeed be accomplished through his body – the church. These two truths give me tremendous hope. No matter what level of global or personal crisis we’re going through Christ is King and his kingdom will come in all its fullness.
The coming of the Spirit also means that we can participate in God’s kingdom now. As people led by the Spirit we are empowered to resist the world’s games of status-seeking, pleasure-seeking and wealth-seeking. We can instead focus on loving and being loved and revealing the kingdom to others. We can rest knowing that Christ is king and his kingdom will come. That security and assurance can give us confidence and hope as we navigate the narrow path that Jesus leads us down.
The full story of Easter – death, resurrection, ascension and Pentecost – tells us that Christ is on the case. It tells us that the ways of this world are not the ways of eternity. Each event of Easter validates the other. As we enter into each one we gain a new assurance. We enter into the cross and gain assurance of God’s mercy and grace. We enter into the resurrection and gain assurance that life wins; that every death there is a rising. We enter into the ascension and gain the assurance of Christ as king, ruler and Lord. He reigns and his way of doing things also reigns. As we enter into Pentecost and our identity as Spirit-led people we gain the assurance that Christ is in the world and making all things new.
May the fullness of Easter speak to you this week. May the fullness of Christ’s revelation and identity fill your heart. May you not just worship him, but follow him. May you not just follow him, but worship him.
Grace and peace.