Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, January 16, 2016
During Jesus’ more than thirty years of life on this earth, His mission was accomplished. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the devil was defeated. The phase of the plan of salvation that required Jesus to live in the flesh as a human being and atone for all of our sins, was finished. Never again was Jesus to become sin. Never again was He to suffer the equivalent of eternal separation from the Father. Never again would He bleed from the excruciating result of the sins of the entire world. He came forth from the empty tomb victorious and utterly vanquished the devil for all time.
Now it was time for the disciples to receive strength and guidance. They were hiding for fear of the Jews, and in utter disbelief. They were not certain what to make of the fact that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb where they were sure it would be, although He said He would rise on the third day. They needed a revelation; a blessed revelation. Where were they going to put their trust now that the Savior is either dead or missing, at least in their minds?
As Jesus always did, He came to the aid of His disciples in the midst of their greatest need. He demonstrated His victory over sin, the grave, and the devil by appearing in their midst, identifying Himself by a familiar voice, and the glorified scars from the crucifixion. What a day of rejoicing it had become! Jesus, the One whom they adored, although imperfectly, is alive. Jesus is alive! It was a blessed revelation. He unfolded to them their mission and ministry to the world, and then it happened. Jesus, the God of the universe breathed on them. The same breath that was breathed into the nostrils of the first man Adam, giving him life, was now shared with the disciples to give them spiritual life and vigor. They were now prepared to await the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, on the day of Pentecost.
There was much more to the story, but this one thing is true although not outlined in detail here. Jesus saw His friends in their greatest need, and gave them a blessed revelation. Are you experiencing a time in your life of intense tests of faith? Do you need the Lord to intervene and make Himself known to you? It is when we are weak, and willing to experience His strength and be obedient, that His revelation is clearly seen. Remember, God is not on our schedule. There is no way to know when, or how He will reveal Himself to us, however, it is assured that He loves us and will never leave us alone. Take courage from the admonition David gave to his son Solomon concerning his mission. “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 28:20).
“And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” (John 20:20, 22)