Terry R. Baughman
“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
The importance of what Jesus did through His death, burial and resurrection was not immediately evident to the disciples. In the days and weeks following the resurrection they began to recall things that Jesus said, and then afterwards His commission to share the good news with others. John recalled that Jesus promised, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). He also recorded that Jesus said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
Matthew recalled the change in the focus of the ministry of Jesus, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21). It all made sense now. The dire predictions, the warnings, even the tests that Jesus put them through, questioning their commitment to His cause. When others ceased following Jesus, He asked them, “‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:67–68).
As the followers of Jesus came to an understanding that His sacrifice and the resurrection was vital to complete the gospel message they also took to heart His parting instructions. Jesus “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). Before they extended their ministry to fulfill the Great Commission, they were first instructed to “wait for the promise.” The empowerment of the Holy Spirit was essential to their success in world evangelization.
It is one thing to know the story of resurrection. It is quite another to have experienced the resurrection. The disciples had witnessed the awful suffering of death on the cross and felt the hopeless despair of burying the one whom they had trusted and followed; in whom they had believed. The same followers rejoiced in the reunions after He appeared with them, very much alive. This is the story they would share for the rest of their lives. However, Jesus insisted there was more for them to know and to experience.
The power of their witness required that disciples be transformed personally by the resurrection. When they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit they would also experience the power of the resurrection. Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
Paul desired the empowerment of the resurrection, both in ministry and in future promise, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10). Every believer can experience the same. The Promise of the Father was not given just for the Twelve, or the 120 of the Upper Room, or the New Testament Church alone. “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
Experience the resurrection through the power of the Holy Spirit!
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).