Acts 2:1 (NIV)
When the day of Pentecost came they were all together in one place.
I want to share something with you that is truly mind-blowing. Let me warn you though; this one is a thinker. Sometimes people complain about my word choices. Other times they complain about being too complex in my proposals. From time to time you have to just tolerate me. Are we OK with that today? I promise I am not trying to be smart or novel. I am trying to be faithful to write down what I sense Jesus is giving me to write down. I don’t mean to play the Jesus card either as though what I am saying can’t be refuted. Sometimes I miss.
On to the mind-blowing thought. So many things happened on the Day of Pentecost we can hardly fathom it all. For instance, when the day began, they were all together in one place in Jerusalem. When the day was over, they were all together in two places: On Earth and in Heaven. Yes, the remarkable thing about the Day of Pentecost was not that they were all together in Jerusalem. It is the way the Spirit ushered them into the unseen realm of Heaven with the Father and the Son.
How do we know this? It is the revelation of the New Testament. For instance, see Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
and consider Colossians 3:1-3.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Remember the time Jesus told his disciples this?
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)
All my life I have only heard this text at funerals. It is used to comfort the aggrieved about their loved ones now being in Heaven with Jesus. So, am I saying this is not what this text is about? Absolutely . . . that is what I am saying. I do not believe Jesus was telling his disciples that he would come get them and take them to Heaven when they died. He was talking to them not about their death but about his death. In John 14, Jesus is talking to his followers about the the Day of Pentecost and what will happen after he dies, rises, ascends into Heaven, and sends the Spirit. Read it again now and consider it through that lens.
Now, before anyone throws anything at me, the Bible teaches we will be in Heaven with Jesus when our mortal life on earth ends. When Jesus spoke to the thief on the cross next to him, and told him, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” (Luke 23:43) he was speaking about the thief’s death and life after death. Here’s the really good news. You don’t have to die to go to Heaven. In Christ, we are already there.
Just as Jesus is both in Heaven and on Earth, so are we both on Earth and in Heaven. The implications of this are mind-blowingly enormous. I didn’t get this in Sunday School. I never really got it in any Bible Studies. I don’t think I even got it in seminary. So maybe I’m wrong. I think Jesus is with me on it though.
Those first followers of Jesus began their day in Jerusalem. They ended it in Heaven, and the outcome was the first miracle of the Church—on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Stay with me. More on all this tomorrow.
Still Day One.
God our Father, who with your son Jesus Messiah, fills us with the Holy Spirit, thank you for the miracle and the mystery of Pentecost. Open the eyes of our hearts to perceive this fact: that we are here on Earth while being seated in Heaven. You are with us here and we are with you there. What a joy. Holy Spirit, awaken our faith to live in this mysterious, miraculous reality. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
So is your mind blown or is this all “old hat” for you? What implications does that have?
For the Awakening,