“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you.”
— John 14:18-20
It astounds me that so many believe in gods that are remote, impersonal, capricious, merciless and so unsure of themselves that they require constant ego stroking.
They are more like “things” than sentient beings. Yet billions prefer such so-called “gods” to the One who literally plunked Himself down right into our laps 2,000 years ago.
He personally and courageously trod this demon-infested earth, identified Himself as one of us (fully human), yet also characterized Himself as the living embodiment of God Himself (full Deity).
As a child once said, Jesus is “God with skin on Him.” Now, that’s personal!
As the Bible verse above describes, Christians are made alive spiritually, not because of anything THEY have done for themselves, but entirely because of what JESUS DID FOR THEM a long time ago, “because I live, you also will live.”
How do we know that He is alive right now? Because God raised Him from the dead, received Him back into Heaven following His 33-year earthly sojourn and reseated Him at the Father’s right hand.
And my, what an intensely personal act of grace and mercy that Jesus performed when He stepped into harm’s way for those He loved (that’s you and me).
First the thorns, then the throne.
When Jesus spoke those words above, He was about to be unjustly put to death.
Even His most intimate followers were perplexed and downcast at the approach of Christ’s apparent “defeat” at the hands of His sworn enemies. Jesus’ disciples had been expecting a victorious Warrior/King who would vanquish Israel’s foes and restore their nation to greatness.
They were unaware that our Savior was about to travel a dark, forbidding road that ran through Gethsemane, Calvary, and a cold stone Tomb carved into a hillside — a journey that only He could make, and only alone.
Once his epic journey to accomplish mankind’s redemption was complete, the risen Christ visited His followers on many occasions over a period of 40 days before ascending back to Heaven.
Shortly thereafter, on the Day of Pentecost, God sent the promised “Helper” or “Paraclete” (One who comes alongside) — first upon the disciples, later upon 3,000 assembled believers, and then a crowd of 5,000 more believers after that.
That’s when things got interesting …
The Church was finally born. Pentecost was like releasing thousands of “little Christs” into a sleeping world.
The more Christ’s enemies tried to “tamp down” one eruption of spiritual fervor by martyring scores of Christ’s loyal followers, the more the Kingdom of God expanded, “watered” by the blood of His saints.
No wonder the Church was called the mystical Body of Christ.
And all of this was made possible by the indwelling Holy Spirit — the Spirit of Christ — who joined believers together in loving community around the world, regardless of race creed or color.
In prior ages, the Holy Spirit was occasionally with men. From Pentecost onward, the Spirit would take up permanent residence in the hearts of all true believers.
This has been going on through the ages to this very day.
So, how does God demonstrate His special affection toward Christ-followers?
Thousands saw Christ throughout His life and eventual death, both enemies and friends. They witnessed His supernatural miracles, were mesmerized by His otherworldly wisdom, and were moved by His direct yet winsome manner.
But after the resurrection, things changed.
Bible commentator Bill MacDonald wrote in Believer’s Bible Commentary: “No unbeliever saw the Lord Jesus after His burial. After He was raised, He was seen only by those who loved Him. But even after His ascension, His disciples continued to see Him by faith. This is doubtless meant by the words, ‘but you will see Me.’ After the world could no longer see Him, His disciples would continue to see Him.”
It is the same today for true seekers.
“I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you.” In a dazzling display of divine conflation, God incorporates believers spiritually “into Christ,” regarding their heavenly position.
Then He reminds us that Christ is “in the Father” positionally. It doesn’t get any more personal than that.
How About You?
Would you like to be able to “see” God spiritually? First you need the “equipment” necessary to see with the eyes of faith. This comes from being born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.