A series of reflections on Jesus’ resurrection appearances, contributed by past and present Pepperdiners. This week, as many Christians are celebrating Jesus’ Ascension and the Spirit coming at Pentecost, we have a set of posts on Jesus’ commissioning his disciples. The first is from Michael Crouch, freshly graduated from the School of Public Policy.
Luke 24:36-53 Jesus blesses his disciples and is carried to Heaven
Often we are without proof of spiritual life. The dead feeling of a dry-spell that comes with the absence of Bible reading or prayer. The thirst for answers that comes with life’s tragedies, the death and decay of this world. It seems obvious that these are the times when the Christ can best show His power and love, but seldom do we look for Him to show up during these troublesome times.
But Jesus exceeds our expectations. When His closest friends were questioning His power over death, the Christ chose to reveal, to prove His power. His living power. “Touch me and see.” I’d like to think that His ghost comment might have broken the tension by allowing some nervous laughter.
Of course, while people are forgetful, Jesus is fully aware of the authority He had over death. While His apostles had the clear prophecies of the Old Testament to look back on and test the claims of Jesus against, we have the very life of the Christ. Yet, we still forget and wander through a season of wilderness in our own lives, not taking in the strength that comes through the promises of the Christ. Jesus calls his disciples witnesses: they had seen His glory. Today, we have not seen with our own eyes, but we rely on the truth that has been protected over time. We testify to the truth, becoming expert witnesses to our own circles. We take on the responsibility that Jesus gave to his followers (read 1 John 4:12).
The final blessing that Jesus gave His followers flows on to us in this day. While Jesus ascended long ago, Christians still live in light of the Resurrection. We share in the power that the Christ had over death. We may have times of fear in our lives, perhaps even looking like we’ve seen a ghost. If only we look to true authority.
Michael (SPP 2012) invested in the Pepperdine community and spiritual life in a number of ways, serving as a Graduate Spiritual Life Advisor and coordinating weekly worship and prayer for our Drescher graduate community through Graduate Christian Fellowship. He and his wife Sarah (also a Seaver colleague) have graciously extended Christ’s blessing to them throughout their time here.