Easter is always a special time for Christian families as they celebrate Christ’s resurrection together. I had special plans this year for my son and his wife to come spend Easter with us. However, illness prevented it from happening. As I thought about my situation, I began to think about Jesus and his Father.
Even though God raised Jesus from the dead, he didn’t go back to his father immediately. For forty days, Jesus gave instructions to his followers through the Holy Spirit. During that time, He appeared to many people so they could witness and know that he had been raised. One of the people that Jesus met was his brother James. You see, James the brother of Jesus wasn’t even sure who Jesus was until after the resurrection.
The disciples that Jesus had taught during his ministry on earth were not certain of what Jesus had taught them. But when Jesus was raised and appeared to his disciples, the teaching became clear. Jesus was the Messiah and was going back to be with his Father. Just before going back to his Father, Jesus gave his followers one of the most important instruction that Jesus gave his followers. The instruction was to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5(NIV)
Jesus also made it clear that he would send the Holy Spirit to help them. He made it very clear to his followers that they could not live a Christian life without the Holy Spirit instructing and guiding them throughout their life. Jesus never told them that they would be able to live a Christian life in their own strength.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father. ”The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:14-17(NIV)
What does“…share in his suffering” mean? How do we share the suffering that Jesus suffered what he was crucified? We share in Jesus suffering by crucifying our ‘flesh with its desires and passions.”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26(NIV)
Sacrificing ‘our flesh with its passion and desires’, can be a very difficult task, It may require developing different friends, learning new hobbies, changing our life style, losing our jobs, etc. These changes can bring some real suffering. This suffering will happen until the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and gives us a new life in Christ.
4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. Romans 6:4-10(NIV)
The Bible tells us that someday soon, God is going to send his son back to earth so he can gather all of His adopted Children. He is going to take them home to be with their Father. I can only imagine the excitement of a loving father waiting for all of his children to come home. Have you sacrificed your sinful desires? Are you one of the Father’s children? If you are one of the adopted children, I will see you when we get home to enjoy the communion with our Heaven Father.
Note: All scriptures used in this article have been downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/?version=NIVunless otherwise noted.