• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

He is Risen! Now What Do We Do?

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5

During the forty days that Jesus appeared to people after His Resurrection there must have been great rejoicing and no small amount of awe and amazement, culminating with His ascension that occurred before the eyes of the disciples.

Before His ascension He charged the chosen apostles, who were gathered together with Him on Mt. Olivet that day, to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, Who would empower them to be His witnesses throughout the world.

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:4-11

Now the power of the Holy Spirit is available to every believer who asks for it. The power comes with the person of the Holy Spirit. We receive the Holy Spirit in power when we ask for Him. God will send the Holy Spirit in power to us if we ask Him for it. This is not about separating the Trinity with Jesus and the Father coming to live in us first when we are born again and the Holy Spirit coming only after we ask Him to join them some time later.

No. When we are born again we receive the Spirit of the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, inseparably. However, Jesus spoke of another filling and empowerment that would come to the Church and did come on the day of Pentecost and to every believer after that day as man has desired to receive it.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13

If you ask God will fill you with the Holy Spirit and power and will keep on filling you daily moment by moment as you continue to desire Him and ask.

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5:18

The idea here is to be continually being filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Pray daily for a fresh infilling and fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit so that you will be empowered to be Jesus’s witness to the world.

It is interesting that this is the second time witnesses of Jesus are asked why they are looking for Him in the manner and places they were looking.

At the tomb on the Day of Resurrection the women who had been with Jesus came to the tomb and finding it empty they were greatly perplexed.

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ” And they remembered His words. ” Luke 24:1-8

Two questions asked and two statements declared, by two men (angels), to those who looked for Jesus after His resurrection and after His ascension. “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here. He is Risen” and “Why do you stand gazing up into heaven?” Jesus will return in the same way you saw him go in to heaven.

In other words don’t waste your time and energies in pointless pursuits. To search for Jesus among the dead things of the world is a fruitless effort. To look for His body in the place of His burial is useless. He is not found in such places. Human agency and human endeavors alone, no matter how good, noble or well meaning, are not the places where Jesus is found. Nor is gazing into heaven with some hopeful expectation that if we just fix our eyes on the clouds long enough there will come a miraculous manifestation of the presence of God by virtue of the sincerity of our gaze.

What are we called to do? Receive the power of the Holy Spirit and go, be witnesses of our Lord throughout the world. Go, live our lives in daily everyday, even mundane, routine activities with a holy purpose to reflect the person and WORD of Jesus whereever we go, in whatever we do for how ever long we have to live on the earth.

As we live each day we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God. Approved in what we teach, say, and do based on the knowledge imparted to us through the Holy Spirit. He has come to lead us into all truth.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13

Following the Resurrection the disciples were charged to yield themselves to the Holy Spirit; to wait for His instruction and revelation. Then, to go and teach the Word, proclaim the Gospel and make disciples of all men (all mankind, men, women, children, old and young, rich and poor alike).

We need not waste our time looking for Jesus where there is no life, nor looking for His second coming gazing at the clouds. No. We are to be about the business of our Father, Living! – Studying His WORD and living it so that others will see Jesus in us. Let us then be about our Father’s business.

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