Trust, Wait and Rest in Christ

The disciples were so eager for the Kingdom moment. We read about their excitement in the first chapter of Acts. They were walking with Jesus toward Mount Olivet, the place where earlier He had given them a short rundown of how the Final Chapter would play out.

It was now Post Resurrection. Jesus had suffered and died, but now He was alive again in a Body all new and yet still scarred — hands, feet, and side. I can only think that these marks remain upon the Savior as proofs that He is the Lamb once slain and who is now alive forevermore. Those wounds tell Hell that He has won.  They also are there to speak to the price paid for our rescue from sin and damnation.

In Acts 1, His obviously excited followers blurted out, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” (Acts 1:6)

Keep in mind, Jesus had told them that they would one day rule and reign with Him in the New Creation season. Who wouldn’t be eager to get busy about such things?

We have all dreamed of moments of magnificent promotion. And speaking for myself and for everyone, I think we would rather this all happen sooner rather than later.

Jesus told them that they would have to trust and wait:  “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority’ ” (Acts 1:7).

Turns out this future moment of great triumph is not something for even the Son to know. In what we call the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus offered indicators, clues, things to watch for as the days progressed.

He was clear about this thing — no man knows the hour or the day, not even the Son (see Matthew 24:26). This statement has befuddled many through the centuries. The reality of Jesus as God and Man, as the Word made flesh to dwell among us, is communicated throughout the pages of the Scriptures.

The Mystery

The theological term used to describe the existence of the God-Man is called the hypostatic union.  This means that Jesus possesses human and divine natures. These were brought together as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the womb of Mary of Nazareth, a virgin girl who gave herself to the will and purpose of the Lord. Therefore, Christ is who He said He is, God and Man at once.

So the question remains:  if Jesus is God and knows all things, how then could he not know the timing of His coming again? One attribute of God is omnipotence or all power. Yes, He is all-knowing and everywhere present, but He is also all powerful.

Cannot the Lord define and express His power as He chooses? “Our God is in Heaven and He does as He pleases,” reads Psalm 115:3. God can do what He wants.

God made this point through the long series of questions that He posed to Job, a man who had done quite a bit of talking. Job demanded an audience with God. He felt that it was something owed to him.

Job’s suffering was mighty and troubling and painful for sure. He poured out his complaints, a venting that was likely a response to the barrage of questions aimed at his character by his so-called friends. These guys were convinced that Job had offended God in sin and thereby triggered the series of trials that befell him. Still, God is God and we are not — a fact that Job came to realize himself. He listened to the Lord and put his hand over his mouth.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One Lord. And yet they are distinct Persons of the Godhead. Again, this reality is communicated to us by the Bible. They operate distinctly in their personalities.

The Cross illustrated this most clearly. The Son agonized at the sense of separation He experienced, saying loudly, “My God, my God why have You forsaken Me?” At last, in an act of complete faith He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” And then He breathed His last.

This marvelous mystery leaves us with the God who is beyond comprehension. Click To Tweet

This marvelous mystery leaves us with the God who is beyond comprehension. Some just cannot bring themselves to embrace Him. They’d rather have a god they can put in their pocket like a keepsake or a locket, as Jason Gray has said in one of his songs.

What’s to say to these folks so lost inside of themselves? Intellectually and emotionally, they are spinning their wheels, gaining no traction in truth or in life. The cycles mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastes keep them turning, turning, turning. Still, there is nothing new under the sun.

Perhaps, they shall come to the point of need, a place where they can just let God love them, a place where they feel the embrace of grace.

Lord of All

How majestic is His Name in all the earth. This is Jesus, the royal One, ruler over all. He shall lay claim to the planet in His due time.

I said all this to set up what I want to say about 2 Peter 3. The Apostle authored this letter and addressed the scoffers and scorners who mock at the idea of Jesus’ return.

“We’ve been hearing this for so long, what is taking Him so long to show up?”

The answer is simply His Mercy. God is not willing that any should perish. The Lord’s desire is for all to call upon His Name, to turn in repentance and be saved from the wrath to come.

Wrath, a most misunderstood word this is. It is not an outburst of emotion by the Most High. Rather, wrath represents the consequences of truth ignored. To operate outside the decrees and commands of God is mischief and leads to disorder. And this disorder may manifest itself in a variety of ways.

Israel, the Chosen People, experienced the consequences of their disobedience to the Word of God as we read in the books of the Judges, the Kings, and the Chronicles. Take note how diseases, plagues, defeats, oppressions, and ultimately captivity came to them.

God did not forget them, however. He made promises and He kept them all — those related to blessings and those related to curses.

The big Answer to one great promise was the coming of the Son. From Israel and the line of King David, Jesus came to reveal the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is a narrow way that runs only through Him.

Jesus came and He is coming again, and Peter doesn’t want readers of this letter to forget this.

Stay busy and diligent and keep clean, we read in 2 Peter 3:14-15:  “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…”

Be careful and take heed.  We are encouraged, and we are told to rest in the One who is our refuge. By living this way, with Him and by the Spirit, we can be sure that we will “grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:19).

 

Steve Andrulonis
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