(Part 3 of 3)
“Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.”-Luke 24:46-47
The final reason Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after His resurrection was to equip His followers to share the gospel message. They were to take the message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection and preach the necessity of repentance and forgiveness of sins to a lost and dying world.
Jesus equipped them for the task by giving them both the authority and power they would need to be effective in reaching those who had never accepted Jesus as Lord. Jesus declared in Matthew 28:18-20:
“And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In this passage, the authority given to Jesus from heaven is conferred upon the disciples to accomplish God’s mission of redemption. Armed with this new authority, believers were deputized, so to speak, to take the gospel to the nations.
However, the disciples received much more than the authorization to preach and teach; they were also given power to execute their responsibilities. Jesus’ disciples had been given a front row seat to His life, message, miracles, death, burial, and resurrection; because of this they were called to be witnesses of these things.
Nevertheless, before taking that good news to the world, they had to tarry for the provision of power Jesus was going to bestow on them:
“And you are witnesses of these things. 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 24:48-49
Luke confirms for us again in Acts 1:8 the nature and purpose of that promise:
“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.”
Jesus refused to leave His followers dejected, doubting, ill-informed and ill-equipped for the task at hand. He renewed their hope! He restored their faith! He revealed Himself in the Word and He equipped them with the authority and power they would need to spread the gospel message across the earth; a commission that you and I (as believers in Jesus Christ) have been deputized and empowered to share in.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church