So when the disciples had come together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” -adapted from Acts 1:6-8
Promises, promises, promises…a gift all wrapped up, that remains that way until the day of fulfillment.
The followers of Jesus had learned about God’s promise to restore an independent and prosperous Israel. For generations many Jews believed in God’s promise of restoration and recovery of the good old days, those days when they were ruled by King David and his ancestors. The good old days when they were prosperous and free to live in relative peace. Now they were hoping and expecting Jesus to unwrap that promised gift by bringing peace, prosperity, and freedom to Israel in these days of Jesus’ Resurrection! But Jesus offered a different kind of fulfillment to that gift.
Here is what the Resurrection Gift does not bring to Jesus followers:
- The Jesus followers were not the first to know and experience political freedom.
- The Jesus followers were not the beginning of new era of prosperity.
- The Jesus followers were not free from Roman oppression.
The new gift of promise cannot be seen or held or wrapped up. Instead the gift of promise can be felt and experienced. The gift of promise transforms!
This Easter Season we will explore the details of this Resurrection gift of Promise called the Holy Spirit.
Jesus promises “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
I am looking forward to receiving that power and learn to recognize the Holy Spirit’s presence!