Monday, April 1, 2013

Missional Musing - The Resurrection Continues.

 Easter is over but the Resurrection continues...

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:19-21

Every one of the four Gospel has a commissioning of the disciples to the task of living sent. This is John's account of that commissioning. It begs the question what did Jesus mean by "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you?”

Jesus was sent on a mission by his Father to bring about the completion of God’s purposes on earth. He lived and gave his life for that mission, completing the assignment the Father had given him. He lived with exceeding joy for a single purpose that was set before him (Heb. 12:2).  After his resurrection, Jesus tells his disciples he is sending them in the same way he was sent. What does it mean  for us to live ‘sent’ today. At least several marvelous things. 

Jesus was sent on a mission of love and love must be our primary motivation for mission because it was his for coming (John 13:34). Jesus was sent on a mercy mission and sends us to be merciful (Luke 6:36 ). Sent as a sacrifice, he calls us to a life of sacrifice (Luke 14:27). He was sent as a servant and calls us to the life of a servant (Mark 9:35). Jesus was sent as a reconciler and we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19). He was sent with a sense of urgency for the least, last and lost (see the 3 parables of Luke 15) and so we are likewise ‘sent.’ 

Jesus was sent as the ‘Prince of Peace’ and sends us out in his “Peace.” His peace is not simply the cessation of hostility among peoples but a sense of wholeness for each person, what the Hebrews called shalom. His “Peace” is to be our message as well (Acts 10:36). He was also sent with a sense of anticipation for greater thing to come and we should be motivated by the greater glory still to be revealed (John 14:12). 

But only one thing gives us the ability to live sent.  Jesus was sent in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:1) and sends us out in his same power. The account in John continues, "And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit." (John 20:22). It is only in the power of the Holy Spirit are we able to live as we are sent. The disciples did and changed the world. His resurrection  power is continues to us today. Paul put it like this 

 "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[a] his Spirit who lives in you." (Romans 8:11)

Let our prayer be, "Lord, fill me to overflowing with your rresurrection power so I can live sent today."

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