Pentecost Prep - Memorial Day

 
Call to Worship - Storms of Life Video from The Skit Guys
 
Praise Song "He Has Made Me Glad" on YouTube
 
Memorial Day from The Skit Guys
Praise Song - "We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise on Youtube

Luke 24:45-53 (English Standard Version)

45  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46  and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
47  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
50  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
51  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
52  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53  and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Acts 1:1-11 (New International Version)

1  In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach
2  until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
3  After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
4  On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
5  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
6  Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7  He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
9  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
11  "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Post Resurrection Appearances of Jesus

All four New Testament Gospels have something to say about the risen Jesus and his appearances to the disciples but information about the encounters seems limited. 
In Matthew 28, the women who went to the tomb early on the day of the resurrection of Jesus found the tomb empty. They spoke to an angel and were running to tell the disciples when Jesus suddenly appeared to them. He told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.  In verse 16, the followers went to the mountain where Jesus told them to go, there they saw Jesus.
The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene.  Later he appeared to two followers while they were walking in the country. The disciples refused to believe until he later appeared to them all as they were gathered together, and he criticized them for their unbelief.
Luke tells of the women finding an empty tomb and going to tell the disciples, and of Peter running to see the empty tomb.  The only appearance of Jesus is to two followers walking on the road to Emmaus.  And then Jesus appears to the rest of the yet unbelieving followers just as the first two are telling of their encounter with him.
The Gospel of John tells of Mary Magdalene being the first to see the risen Jesus on Sunday morning.  John then tells of Jesus appearing to the disciples as they met behind locked doors.  Thomas was not present, so Jesus appeared to them behind locked doors again a week later when Thomas was there.  John then tells of a later meeting with seven of the disciples by the Sea of Galilee where he gives fishing advice, prepares breakfast, and has a special chat with Peter.
Acts 1:3 says, “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

What Did Jesus Say to the Disciples as the Resurrected Christ?

Luke 24:45-49 (NIV) says, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’"
Luke writes in Acts 1:2, “Before he went, he talked to the apostles he had chosen.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, he told them what they should do.”
If Jesus spent forty days with the disciples from his resurrection until he ascended and with the help of the Holy Spirit spoke to them about the Kingdom of God would it not have been nice if someone had taken copious notes?  It seems like only small portions of what must have been said have been preserved by the gospel writers, maybe just the most important elements?
Luke 24:47 (ERV) records Jesus saying, You saw these things happen—you are witnesses.  You must go and tell people that they must change and turn to God, which will bring them his forgiveness.”  Jesus also says that he is sending the promise of the Father.  Therefore, they should stay in Jerusalem until they are clothed with power from on high.
Acts 1:4 says that on one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In Mark 16:15 Jesus is recorded as saying, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”  He tells them of new abilities they will have as they are given the power to witness. 
All the Gospel writers in some way allude to Jesus’ commission to his disciples. The commission made possible by his resurrection, return to the Father, and his sending of the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father.

The Important Part

Acts 1:4-5 NIV On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
John the Baptist had said about Jesus.  “This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.'  I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."  And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.  I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
John said, "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
In three years traveling with Jesus none of the disciples had yet seen Jesus baptize anyone with fire.  Little did they know it was about to happen.

Did the Disciples Get the Message?

Acts 1:6-8 says, “Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"  He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Jesus spent forty days from his resurrection until he ascended with the disciples. He taught them with the help of the Holy Spirit about the kingdom of God, but how much of what he taught sank in?  Were they distracted?  Did they not pay attention?
Jesus told them, “Wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”  He said, “John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."  Jesus was talking about the fulfillment of scriptural prophecies regarding the coming kingdom of God.
Is it possible that the disciples missed the point?  They asked, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"  Jesus was not talking about a worldly kingdom.  They did not see what he was saying!  They had their own agenda!
Jesus told Nikodemus in John 3:3 (ISV), "Truly, I tell you with certainty, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  The disciples could not grasp what Jesus meant when he talked about the kingdom of God even though he taught with the help of the Holy Spirit because they had not yet experienced that rebirth.  They were not yet born from above!  They had to wait for the gift from God which could not be given until the proper time.
The disciples’ mindset had not yet been changed to where they could comprehend the wonders of the spiritual awakening Jesus was talking about.  However, this would change dramatically after the Holy Spirit came as promised.

Jesus Leaves, but the Disciples Still Had to Wait for the Promise.

Mark 16:19-20 says, “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.  And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.”
Luke 24:50-53 says, “Then he led them out as far as Bethany and lifting up his hands he blessed them.  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God.”
Acts 1:9-11 says, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.  "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky?  This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Luke tells us in Acts 1 that Jesus spent forty days with the disciples after his resurrection until they saw him ascend into heaven.  That left ten days until Pentecost that they would be waiting in Jerusalem.  They did not know how long they needed to wait but Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem.  They continued to worship and share the message with joy that Jesus had risen but did not fully comprehend what he had promised. The disciples seemed to know it would be worth the wait but apparently did not understand that the promise would come to fulfillment at Pentecost. 
 
Closing Song - Majesty" on YouTube
 
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