Last week, Paul wrote about the truth of God’s presence in our suffering. Jesus drank the cup of betrayal, rejection, physical torture, abandonment, tasting for a moment a profound separation with His Father. He did so for the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2).
One of the hardest things for the disciples at the time of Jesus Passion was losing him. His promises of being with them seemed to die on the cross. Where was he now? Many people ask that question in the face of suffering and understandably so. The Psalms articulate the same question many times.
After rising from death Jesus appeared to a number of witnesses in the time between the Passover and Pentecost. See Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; He appeared to Simon, James, the apostles and then a crowd of 500 people at one time.
Jesus said he would not leave us or forsake us. He fulfils that promise through the Holy Spirit, the one who walks alongside us, comforts advises, guides (John 14-16 references this).
In returning to the heavens Jesus opened the way for the Holy Spirit to come and to make His presence, Immanuel, known to them and us. Learning to welcome the Holy Spirit of Jesus is welcoming His presence into our lives. We can live, literally, inspired lives!
As we now celebrate the resurrection, and look forward to the celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we are running another Alpha course beginning May 2nd. Alpha allows us to explore honestly the basics of the Christian faith and enables opportunities for encounters with the Holy Spirit. We share a meal from 5:45 pm and the course will start around 6:45 pm.