Imagine it. You just watched your best friend, head of your tribe, and the one everyone looked up to being innocently beaten and killed. Heartache, confusion, anger, fear, and many other emotions run through your heart and mind about what has just happened. You and your close-knit circle of friends had given everything up to follow this man for the last three years of your lives. And now He is dead?! I am referring to Jesus. Strap your feet into the sandals of Jesus' closest followers with me as we ask ourselves, "What do we do now?"
Jesus had already told His disciples it was the will of the Father that He would be rejected and killed. "But why?" I'm sure they would ponder to themselves or sometimes question out loud. He had come to restore the kingdom, and His death didn't make sense when it came to restoration.
"… The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." Luke 9:22
After His death, can you imagine them gathering and asking themselves, "What do we do now?" I am sure they sat reminiscing, through many tears and a few laughs, about what they experienced through the life of Jesus. Somehow the grief kept them from remembering some of the most important words Jesus shared with them about how He would also be raised on the third day. Because when He appeared to them on that third day, they all experienced disbelief.
In the book of Acts, written by Luke to Theophilus (one who loves God), we find the account of what happens after Jesus arose and His ascension into heaven. He gathers them together and proclaims the kingdom for forty days.
"He presented himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God." Acts 1:3
"Will you now restore the kingdom?! Is it time, Lord?!" Jesus responds, "That's not your business, but… you will receive power, and you will be My witnesses throughout all the earth."
"So, when they had come together, they asked Him. 'Lord will You restore the kingdom to Israel? 'He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'" Acts 1:6-9
How often do we allow secondary debates and worries about the things we cannot control distract us from the most significant task Christ has given us?
Jesus said, "go and tell others I am alive and that I have conquered death. Tell others to repent of their sins and turn to Me". They had heard this same message over and over. He would remind them that "it is good that I go to the Father to send the comforter and teacher to you." But still... They stood staring as Jesus was taken up to sit at the right hand of the Father, and I believe they were asking once again, "What do we do now?" They stood most likely feeling paralyzed and fearful because they did just get Him back. "What do we do now?" You know we have all been there asking the very same thing.
They were snapped back to their senses when two men glowing in white robes asked, "Why are you standing there? He will come back again, just like He said He would." They were reminded not to worry and fuss about when He is coming back (something the church is still guilty of) but to go and do the Kingdom work they had been assigned. How often do we allow secondary debates and worries about the things we cannot control to distract us from the most significant task Christ has given us?
"And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.'" Acts 1:10-11
Each season in our life can bring some form of distraction to deter us from what our main focus should always be, witnessing and living for the kingdom of God. Learn God to share God. There are souls to be loved. There are souls that need to hear the saving grace of Jesus.
Today let us not become distracted by our worries and secondary debates. My prayer is that when we ask, "What do we do now?" We will continuously be reminded to go and to share the good news of Jesus Christ!
Go and share the good news of Jesus Christ!
"And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Romans 10:15