PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART LXXVII
Why did Jesus have to die? And what was gained by Jesus’ death? Jesus left it to the Holy Spirit to explain. To the naked eye, the Jews could not grasp nor tolerate God being in a person; namely, in Jesus the Christ (Matthew 1:24). The Jews could not and they still can not stop “God being in the Spirit” (John 14:15-17)! Death sets the spirit free from the limitations of the body, which separates man from his Maker. Death sets the human soul free from the debris, which the soul collects while it is housed in a body on earth. In the flesh, Jesus was limited! In the Spirit, Jesus is free to impact man and his world everywhere; that is provided man opens his spirit to the Spirit of God and Christ. And it is in the “Resurrection” that the spirit is set free. Jesus called it, “A New Birth” (John 3:5-8).
JESUS HAD THIS TALK WITH HIS DISCIPLES
“If I had not come and spoken to them (Jews), they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates who hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It is to fulfil the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a case.’ But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me: and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:22-27).
“But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you ask me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:5-15).
WHAT DID THE DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST TEACH?
Jesus, in person, demonstrated that this physical life is not the end! Death is but the door to a life that never ends. Death only terminates the flesh and the blood, but not the spirit God put in man when He created man (Genesis 2:7). For Jesus, the Son of God to enter a human body, the Holy Spirit impragnated Mary, and not a man. It is because of the spirit God, put in man, that the male too has the seed of life. Therefore, the spirit needs a body to grow it in, and that is the female womb. In my life, my conscience is the voice of my spirit and it constantly does remind me of what I have to do for my soul to pass the pearly gates. Conscience does not die, we take it with us to the other side (Luke 16:19-31). That is the reason why Jesus became a man to show us the way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). To help us understand, Jesus left us witnesses, who were with Him during His stay here on earth. And when Jesus went back to God His Father, the Holy Spirit took His place here on earth (John 15:26-27). It is believed that the Gospel of Mark was the first Gospel to report the Resurrection of Jesus in writing. However, Luke may have been the one who motivated Mark with his own Gospel. Mark, for some reason, did not or could not complete his accounting of Jesus. Therefore, the other Gospels had ample witnesses to be more complete. We have Matthew, Luke, and John enlarging Mark; only according to some scholars, who used a Greek text that left out or lost Mark 16:9-20. The majority of Greek texts do include the lost text, and it was Matthew and Luke who copied Mark and not the other way around.
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Solome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him (Jesus). And very early on the first of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb? And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid (Mark 16:1-8).
Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And then they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day (Matthew 28:1-15).
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they (women) went to the tomb, taking the spices, which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them as idle tale, and they did not believe them (Luke 24:1-12).
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early (alone), while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reaching the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, and he napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths bu rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes (John 20:1-10).
THE RISEN CHRIST CONQUERED DEATH
The death of Jesus the Christ, on the cross, was a deliberate and planned “Act of the Trinity” (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)! This act of the Trinity set the spirit in man free from the bondage of the body, so that the soul can return to its Maker and its Creator. Physical death is not the end of the spirit’s existence! Therefore, it is the physical death which is the completion of a task that qualifies the human spirit and soul to live in the eternal world. Jesus set an example what man must do in this life to be eligible to live in the Kingdom of Heaven with God. Also after the Resurrection, Jesus’ Spirit was set free from His earthly body to assume a body that could communicate with the dead and with the living. At some point, Jesus revealed, to Peter and to his disciples, what He would do during the time that His body was disappearing and was changing Him into a body that allowed Jesus to spent forty days with his disciples. The Risen Lord spent forty days to explain to the disciples why He had come and why He had to leave. Peter and Luke did indicate that they did understand why Jesus did what He did. Paul drew his knowledge of the Risen Lord from over five hundred witnesses. The first witness of the Risen Christ was a young man dressed in funeral apparel, telling the women that Jesus had gone to Galilee (Mark 16:5-8).
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring s to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water (I Peter 3:18-20).
“They (Gentiles) are surprised that you (Christians)do not now join them in the same wild profligacy, and they abuse you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the spirit like God” (I Peter 4:4-6).
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandments through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them be presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father. Which, he said, “you heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:1-5).
For I have delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me (I Corinthians 15:3-8).