Can you imagine how the disciples felt waking up Saturday morning? After Jesus' crucifixion, there must have been an unimaginable feeling of hopelessness and confusion.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see verses that foreshadow the coming of Jesus (Isaiah 53). The disciples would have grown up with these stories and prophecies. They longed for a King that would right all of the wrongs and destroy all of their enemies.
Imagine the anticipation of this King. Now, picture how they must have felt after walking with Jesus for years and then watching Him be crucified and buried. He was beaten until He was unrecognizable (Is. 52:14) and hung Him on a cross like a criminal (Philippians 2:8).
Where is the victory in that?
Thankfully, this was not outside of God’s plan.
The resurrection was not a contingency plan, it was the plan. The resurrection provided the hope that death was swallowed up in victory and we can declare, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).
This reality should impact our lives in a profound way. It’s not for us to sit stagnant in this victory, but to live in expectation. This victory over death is available to all who believe in Jesus.
Just as the disciples were in a period of waiting after the death of Christ, we too, are in a period of waiting. The only difference is that while they waited in hopelessness, we wait in hopeful anticipation.
So, how should we wait for the return of our King?
As we wait for Jesus’ return, we must run with endurance, always fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). Essentially, this means that our complete focus should be on Jesus alone. Always seeking to know God more and bring Him glory in all we do. Everything we do must be done for His glory (1 Cor. 10:31) and through His power (John 15:5). This unwavering focus can only be attained by actively seeking truth through Scripture, praying, being plugged into a godly community and serving those around you. Growth can only happen if we are earnestly pursuing it.
Invest Around You
Knowing the reality of Jesus’ return should cause us to invest in the people around us. Did you catch that? Cause us to invest in people, not things. The world and everything on it is decaying, but it’s the souls of people who have an eternity before them. We should have a passion to reach people with the Gospel. In Romans 9, Paul has “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” in his heart for the lostness of those around him. The immense love he has leaves him in agony. When was the last time you felt that towards someone who didn’t know Christ?
I’m sure you know this, but the world we live in is very broken. We will never escape the damage caused by sin on this side of Heaven. Thankfully, Jesus is not just our present hope, but He is our final hope. And that should be our prayer, that as we anticipate His return, we say in faith, “Come, Lord Jesus”. This is the prayer of the Church because we need Jesus, we need rescuing.
As we wait in anticipation, let’s look Heavenward to the eternal hope of Jesus, our King.
By Emily LaGrone