A Transition of Wonder
Your daily responsibilities can feel all-encompassing at times. It’s easy to read God’s word, observe a bit of Scripture, and then carry on, often forgetting what you read. The truths of the gospel and your identity in Christ get muted to the superficial demands vying for your attention. Yet, when you can slow down and give yourself enough time to absorb God’s Word, it’s like a whole new realm of wisdom and wonder unveils itself.
Peter and the other disciples experienced something similar. When Jesus was with them, they were caught up in the needs of the people around them, the ridicule from the religious leaders, and trying to figure out all the parables and teachings Jesus shared with them that seemed so different than what they had known.
However, after Jesus died and resurrected, they finally understood all He had taught them and were permanently left in awe and wonder.
“He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Luke 24:44-49
A transition took place after Jesus’ ascended back into heaven when His earthly mission came to completion. The disciples understood that faith in Jesus wasn’t about rituals and temple worship. It was all about the Messiah. History = His Story! It was about trusting in all He had taught them as infallible truth.
They were forever changed.
And, if you are a follower of Jesus like these disciples, you are too!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
You were crucified with Christ. What does that mean? It means when you chose to put your faith and hope in Jesus Christ, believing His story to be completely true – that He came as a baby by way of the Holy Spirit’s work in the virgin, Mary. That He lived a sinless life, suffered, and died, taking the full weight of your sin and spiritual death upon Himself. That He conquered sin and death, rose Himself back to life, showed Himself to over 500 people, and then ascended back into heaven, and is now seated on the throne over heaven and earth – that you are now eternally free from the consequences of sin and death, and will one day rise with Christ and join Him for eternity in heaven.
Being crucified also means that you died to the world/flesh. You chose to give up the ways people of the world live for something FAR better. Not in the sense of monetary value, but an immeasurable wealth not comprehensible to the minds of humans in this fallen world. You choose to lay aside selfish ambitions and pride, and embrace God’s inherent truth, and His will for your life. This will not be void of suffering. This will mean being persecuted for your faith, mocked, and oppressed at times, just like Christ was.
But it also means receiving, “every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
After Jesus resurrected, He breathed on the disciples and blessed them with the gift of the Holy Spirit. He also promised to send the Holy Spirit.
“And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high” Luke 24:49
The Holy Spirit came to indwell all followers of Jesus at Pentecost, and has continued to do so ever since.
“In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
By your belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah, you have received the promised Holy Spirit indwelling within you. God Himself resides in you, doing a mighty work, transforming you and helping you grow in spiritual maturity to be more like Christ; letting the old ways of this world die within you and embracing God’s will for you.
You are a magnificent treasure to the Lord.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
He called you out of darkness; freed you from the pit of hell! But He didn’t just leave you there. He adopted you and called you His own! He crowned you with righteousness, included you into the holy nation He made for Himself.
“So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:12-17
You are a new creation in Jesus Christ by the powerful work of the Spirit within you. The Father calls you His child. The triune God adores you more than you’ll ever understand. He’s ALWAYS with you, working to bring you into spiritual maturity, in order that you might embrace more of His love for you, and become a greater light to those who are still trapped in darkness.
May you understand a bit more of your identity today, and encourage other followers of Jesus to do the same with the truth the Lord has given to us to understand Him more.