By: Rev. Lew Stier, Associate Pastor of Outreach
I want you to think of something too good to be true. Now feel the way it revs you up. There is a real power in the process, isn’t there? Do you think it might have been that way for Jesus’ disciples on the evening of the day of resurrection? There they are gathered in a room together feeling hopeless, helpless, and alone. Two of their friends enter the room and burst out in joyous exclamation: “He’s alive! We have seen and been with Jesus!”
The excitement starts to stir inside. Could it really be true? People keep on saying it is. Hope is being awakened, and little by little the gloom is dissipating. And then behold—Jesus is standing there in the midst of everyone; even asks for something to eat. What power to change the total atmosphere in the room.
But it still took a while to change. It was not in an instant like you might imagine. The Gospel writer Luke says they did not believe it was Jesus at first. He says they thought they were seeing a ghost; they were startled and frightened (24: 37).
Even when Jesus showed them the nail holes in his hands and feet giving them the opportunity to believe, they were filled with joy and amazement but still not believing. They truly thought it was too good to be true and we all pretty much have been taught—if it is too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.
But the power of the Spirit was greater than the power of the human unbelieving mind and heart. The Spirit’s power takes what is impossible and turns it into reality. Christ IS risen indeed! Jesus then mentored the disciples with the Word of the sacred Scriptures and set the power of the Spirit free to do its work.
When the Spirit was able to change their hearts into understanding, Jesus was supposed to be raised on the third day as he said he would, the Spirit also revealed to the disciples the truth about all sins being forgiven by Jesus’ death on the cross. The power of the Spirit will also cause hearts to be changed from stubborn sinners wanting their own way into hearts moving in the opposite direction and toward repentance.
This same power works for us and on us as well. The Holy Spirit through His power equips us to do the ministry of the Gospel in our day and time. He has changed your unbelieving heart into one that knows without a doubt you are forgiven and you have the certainty of eternal life with our Triune God. His power offers you opportunities to be His witness to your family, friends, co-workers, school mates, sport team members, and even strangers you meet on the street.
The resurrection of Jesus changed life in the world as we know it. We no longer have to live with uncertainty for the future. We no longer have to live with the thought of eternal homelessness because we are certain through the power of the Spirit heaven will eventually be our HOME! Believing in the power of the Resurrection adds a new life of hope.
Like the disciples you too only have to wait until the power the Spirit equips you to be the witness God needs you to be—and then you GO!