I am a bit under the weather today, but I am going to try to put some coherent thoughts together anyway. I am sorry if this one doesn’t make any sense! I am giving this a shot anyway.
I have been reading through a book by Francis Chan called Forgotten God. It is his take on the biblical realities of the person of the Holy Spirit. A friend has highly recommended this book, and so far I see why. It is quite challenging. The Holy Spirit really is a “forgotten” part of the trinity for a lot of Christians, including myself. I have not grown up learning about Him. I don’t quite know what to do with Him in my life. I am very thankful for this book and what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me about himself apart from the book through the Bible. I will write more on this once I finish reading the book and the Spirit helps me digest the reality of himself into my daily life.
This post is going to be about something that came to mind while reading this book last night. Somewhere around the third chapter, or so, he starts talking through the coming of the Spirit in the book of Acts. Chan asks you to imagine what it must have been like for the disciples before and when this happened. He walks you through what they just experienced. They just lived the past three years of their lives with Jesus, a man they watched do miracles and teach the truths of God like know one else had. They went through the terror of this man’s arrest and death. They saw his empty tomb. They were visited by him and taught by him after his resurrection. They saw and felt the scars and ate dinners with the risen teacher. Then they watched him ascend into Heaven with the promise that something/someone better is going to come because he is leaving. Chan then goes through the coming of the Spirit as they sat in a room together in Jerusalem.
I sat there trying to envision this. I have a pretty good imagination. I am a creative guy. But I had trouble getting there in my mind. I tried to think about what this would be like. What it would be like for a friend, small group leader, or even pastor I know to die, come back, and then ascend (let alone promise that this was better because of who/what would come to replace him). I mean to be visited by a guy that you just went to the funeral for. To hang out with him, eat with him, and share with him what it was like to lose him. To be taught by him and then literally watch him rise up into the sky. Then to trust him and go wait in a room for “something better.” I just can’t get my mind to fathom this.
Please know that I am in no way doubting this reality. I definitely believe this is true and happened. I just can’t get to a place that I can understand what it would be like for this to be happening with me present. It boggles my mind!
No disrespect to the friends, family, and fans of Steve Jobs, but think about this. Say you worked with him/for him and are still at Apple. You are in mourning for his passing. One day next week, all the employees are gathered together for what you think is a memorial, and he shows up there very much alive. He spends a couple of weeks going from group to group of Apple-ites spending time with them. Then everyone is gathered again, he talks to the Apple company as a whole one last time. He then says someone better is coming because he is leaving and then just lifts up into the air and vanishes.
I can’t even try to think about this happening in reality, and I have some understanding of what it was like for Steve Jobs to be here “in the flesh.” And so it is even harder for me to think about this with Jesus. I know he is real, but I have no concept of what it is like for him to have been walking the planet. I know he did, but I just can’t imagine what that was like. So it is even harder for me to think about what it was like to watch him ascend and then trust him and wait for the something better (the Holy Spirit).
Like I said, I am just having trouble imagining this. The great part is that I don’t have to. It was real. It is real. And one day I will see and get to know Jesus “in the flesh.” I can’t wait for that day! And I know it was better for him to leave, because I do have the Spirit living within me. I have the Spirit of Jesus in my life and his presence proves the reality that I can not comprehend on my own! Hallelujah, what a Savior!
What do you think about this? Can you imagine what it was like to be there? What do you think it felt like to trust that there was something better coming?