The sorrow, fear and disappointment of the disciples leaps off the page. They were there when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt. He was supposed to rise up, like David, and take back Jerusalem with some old fashioned God-powered military might. Instead, Jesus quietly accepted death. Now His body is missing.
It didn’t make sense He would die, and it made even less sense He’d be alive again, after just three days.
There are numerous witnesses. Everyone in town knows what’s happened. Who is this guy on the road with no clue? Word spreads fast. Are these merely the delusional reports of emotional women? Where could His body be?
Quite thankfully, Jesus explains everything to them. I want to hear this 7 mile sermon:
“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (27)
Then later with the others:
“Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (46-49)
Forgiveness of sins for all the nations.
Indeed, Jesus did not bring a momentary relief, dressed in a golden age of Jewish political independence and prominence. He brought healing, life, freedom and salvation to the souls of humanity. His death and resurrection, although a confusing disappointment at the time, has been revealed as the single most important event in history.
The implications of a God-powered resurrected Christ is the difference between being a disciple of Christ and all religion.
Don’t go anywhere without this power! Otherwise, it’s merely a strange story fueling a strange new religion.
The purpose of many New Testament books, including this one, was to show Rome that following the resurrected Jesus was not a new religion (starting new religions was a violation of Pax Romana, Roman Peace). No, Jesus says, can’t you see this is the fulfillment of Moses and all Jewish history and prophets?
Are you waiting for Jesus to be something else? Are you waiting for Him to grant you relief from your momentary afflictions? Are you moving forward in your “Christian walk” without His power? Bring all these things to Him. He is excellent at gently explaining Himself and opening minds to understand.
Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! You gave us the most incredible gift and display of power, in history, and You didn’t wait for us to want it. We love you.