Over the past week, we have been observing and celebrating Easter. It is our reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered in obedience to the will of His Father. This is so the sins of the world would be paid for, and all humanity could be redeemed and restored back into a right relationship with God.
We know that the disciples were distraught over the crucifixion of Jesus, even though it was clearly foretold to them the night they observed the Lord’s Supper, and as they walked to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 14-17).
As they watched Jesus suffer and die, I can’t imagine what was going through their minds. All they had anticipated about being part of this new Kingdom of Heaven came crashing down. What they experienced over the past three years probably didn’t make sense anymore. They were left without their leader and mentor. Yes, they were together – save one – but they were still alone. What seemed reasonable was to go back to the lives they lived before their calling to be fishers of men.
After a long and heart-wrenching weekend, everything changed! Jesus had RISEN FROM THE DEAD! He had revealed himself to them and about 500 other followers over those first several weeks, restoring their purpose and hope.
Then, standing on the Mount of Olives as Jesus ascended out of sight, they wondered what to do. As they returned to Jerusalem, I am sure they were confused and uncertain until they remembered what Jesus had told them that fateful night.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. John 14:15-19
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:25-27
Over the past few weeks, have you felt somewhat like the disciples? Have you felt alone and confused about what you are to do right now? As Christ-followers, we are NOT ALONE. We have been given the Holy Spirit. Jesus has not left us as orphans. In his absence, we are given an Advocate to go before us and a Comforter in times of trouble and need. In John 14:27, Jesus reminds us we have been given his peace so that our hearts will not be troubled nor will we be afraid.
I can’t think of any greater gifts that I could possess during times of uncertainty, doubt, fear, and hardship than the Holy Spirit and the peace of Jesus Christ.
Take a few minutes in prayer to respond to these truths: I have the Holy Spirit and the peace of Jesus Christ – I am Not Alone!
God, thank you for the Holy Spirit in my life and help me to follow his direction and rest in his comfort.
God, thank you for the peace that Jesus has given to me. Help me to learn to live according to that peace and demonstrate it in my thoughts, decisions, and actions.
God, help me to find opportunities to share this peace with others in my life and act upon them.