Most of us long for miracles. And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs: complete forgiveness and a new heart to follow Him as our living King. But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles. In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament: the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.
The Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of many Old Testament symbols and feasts. He is the Light at the beginning of creation (John 1:1-5), the final Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), the manna from heaven (John 6:42-35), the water from the rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), etc. And, among many other things, He is the firstfruits of God’s resurrected people. (1 Corinthians 15:20 and 23)
In addition to the message of hope that Jesus resurrection as firstfruits shows us that there are more resurrections to come, as firstfruits His rising marks the count for the 50 days until Pentecost. (Leviticus 23:7, Deuteronomy 16:9) Yet, Acts 1:3 says He appeared to the disciples for only 40 days. Why?
It seems that He didn’t appear to them for 10 of those days. Scripture doesn’t tell us why. Maybe it’s just me, but I think if I’d been one of those disciples I would’ve asked, “Has anyone seen the Lord today?”
Apparently, the risen Lord didn’t promise even those disciples facetime with Him every day. Maybe you and I aren’t the only people in the world who have wondered where He was today. In fact, if you look at some of King David’s psalms, they waffle from overflowing praise for God’s presence to pining over feeling abandoned.
If it feels like He’s gone today, remember. He is not standing face-to-face in front of His people right now, but He is ruling over each of them until His return. And He’s given many powerful promises to each person who follows Him by faith in Him. Listen to just a few from one of His most intimate talks with His disciples in John 14-16.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:18-21)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on Me, but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.” (John 14:27-31)
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:26)
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:1-7)
The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back for His people, but now is the time for His people, the Body of Christ, to witness about Him to those who do not yet know Him and to those who are struggling in their faith.
I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles.