There is a spiritual realm that Jesus showed us, that exists to fulfill the will of God, our Heavenly Father. Jesus taught and showed us that God is a Spirit and that there is much more around us than the material things that we can see, taste, smell, hear and touch. Jesus taught us to believe in His Father and to believe in Him and to believe in the Holy Spirit, that He promised would live in all of us, when through faith, we trust and believe in Him and are born again. Jesus taught us that in spite of what we may see and hear and sometimes experience to the contrary, God controls both the material and spiritual realms and all things, all things (deliberately repeated), will unfold to accomplish God’s chosen will. God is God. He doesn’t conform to our will, we conform to His. And, there is a good reason for that being as it is, God’s will is holy, just, righteous and without devious motivations. Our will is not, even though we’d like to think otherwise.
And Jesus confirmed that within these material bodies that we wear there lives a soul, that transcends beyond the material body, which eventually dies. When God created us, He created us in His image, yet clothed us in a material body, on a material world. The spiritual realm is ultimately associated with God and the material realm is ultimately associated with the material us. One realm is focused on God, the immaterial, the other realm is focused on us, the material body. We have eyes to see and ears to hear but the realm we choose to take into consideration and focus on is critical.
The Law, the Prophets and the Psalms within the Old Testament all speak of a coming promised Redeemer, a Messiah, the Anointed One, who will save those who acknowledge the battle within, between God’s holiness and our unholiness and those who honestly seek to know God. Jesus Christ was and is that Messiah. The many miracles that Jesus did confirmed this reality, as does the witness of the Holy Spirit and the Son to the Father and the Father to the Son. But there was more than just healings, deliverances and the authority and power that Jesus demonstrated to modify the laws of physics. There were also the absolute objective truths that Jesus gave us, truths about the depths of sin, it’s destructiveness and our true fallen nature, truths about love, patience, forgiveness, mercy, justice, faith, grace and trusting in the will of the Father to bring us, His Creation, back to a place of communion with Him. Jesus taught us that His Father is holy and perfect. That His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. He also taught us that God does not will that any of His creation should perish. And Jesus taught us that He Himself, as God’s Divine Son, came to demonstrate the will of the Father, through obedience, even unto His own death, so that we, God’s creation, could once again be at one with our holy Father God.
John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I often try to put myself in the place of Jesus’s first disciples as I’m reading through the Gospels. Imagine if you will, what they saw, what they heard during the approximate three years of Jesus’s ministry. When Jesus walked on the water and approached Peter and the other disciples in the boat (Matt 14:22-33 NIV), Peter called to Jesus to call himself out to Jesus and Jesus complied. For a few steps Peter defied the laws of physics and then the reality of the material realm took over and Peter began to sink. When Jesus and Peter got into the boat and the winds suddenly stopped and they had all seen it happen, they worshiped Jesus. What do you think you would have done if you had of been there? What kind of thoughts would have gone through your mind as you witnessed what had just transpired?
Yet in spite of all the Old Testament prophecies and fore pictures of the coming Messiah, in spite of all the “miracles” that Jesus did, and in spite of Jesus’s teachings during his brief ministry, Jesus confided in them, before it happened, that He would be taken by the authorities and that He would be killed and that after three days, He would rise again from the dead. Imagine again, if you will, the thoughts that would have gone through your mind. After all that you had seen, after all that you had heard, the Messiah is indicating that He will be taken and killed and then rise again from the dead.
When they saw Jesus taken and crucified, when they saw Him die on the cross, what realm do you think occupied their minds? What do you think you would have thought? How would what you saw now, sit with what you had seen and heard previously, had you been one of the first disciples? Do you think they were “crushed”? I’m thinking they were.
It’s not easy ignoring what you see with your eyes. It’s not easy coming to grips with the material realm that seemingly over rides the truths of the spiritual realm. But that is what the saw. They saw the prevailing authorities kill Jesus. They saw Him die. And the disciples fled.
And, if that was the end of what happened, there would not be a “Christian” religion. But … three days later …. according to what Jesus had already told them, Jesus rose from the dead. and as it is recorded throughout the New Testament, for a period of 40 days, Jesus appeared to the disciples multiple times. He spoke with them, instructed them, ate with them. They touched Him, conversed with Him, worshiped Him.
Had you been there, what thoughts would have gone through your mind, how would this “reality” have affected you?
After the resurrection of Jesus, followed by Pentecost, where the promised Holy Spirit was given to all believers, what realm suddenly took precedence in the disciples lives? Do you think that seeing the risen Lord had anything to do with their change of mindset? I’m thinking it did.
I appreciate that this is bare bone and that there is so much more. But on top of everything else that Jesus fulfilled pertaining to the promised Messiah, plus what He said and did, we have Jesus, the Messiah, conquering the finality of death and being resurrected from the dead, as He foretold would happen.
You will search in vain to find this proof of divinity in any other religious faith. There’s only one … Jesus.
The resurrection is huge, it’s God’s crowning declaration and witness about His love and His fulfilled purpose of sending His obedient Son Jesus to save us. Make no mistake about the resurrection, Jesus says “…..I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” (John 11:25 ESV)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ forever changed the lives of the Apostles and the early Christian Church.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!