50 Days … Following Jesus’ Footsteps Toward Pentecost

We are now only two days removed from Resurrection Sunday … 48 days until the next major Christian holy-day … Pentecost … the “Feast of Weeks” … celebrated 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus. Originally set aside as a harvest festival (Exodus 23:16), Shavuot, as the Hebrews called it, commemorated the day that God gave the Torah to the people of Israel, indicating that they were now a nation committed to serving Him (Leviticus 23:15–16).

Too often we descend from the high point of celebrating Resurrection Sunday, only to get “tyrannized by the urgent” … that spring-cleaning project at the house or yard … booking vacation plans for the summer, etc.  We ignore the significance of the 50 days between the Resurrection of our Lord and the fulfillment of a promise made by Jesus Himself.

Jesus had repeatedly promised a gift … the Comforter, Helper, Paraclete … literally, “one summoned to come alongside to render aid” (John 14:16–17, 25–26 • 15:26–27 • 16:5–15 • Acts 1:4).  Unfortunately, His early followers seemed to forget this promise.  Or maybe they were too distraught and confused … too slow or dull to believe … that they didn’t recognize their risen Lord, even when He was in their presence (Luke 24:16, 25, 36–37).

What thoughts swirled in the minds and hearts of the men and women who had followed Jesus during the previous 3+ years?  Were they as lost and confused as the two disciples on the road to Emmaus?  [Read about those details in two previous posts, “Pursuing Jesus” and “More Details to a Pursuing Jesus”].  Did it take a personal, tangible encounter with Jesus to open their eyes, minds and hearts to the truth, as in the case of Thomas (John 20:24–29)?

Let’s be honest … we struggle with similar doubts, confusion and disbelief … even though we possess a complete 66-book Bible, and a host of online tools at our fingertips.

During the first 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus met with a lot of people, performed some extraordinary miracles, and taught many transforming truths.  Read through the following post-Resurrection accounts to see for yourself.  As you read, keep asking these two questions:

What did Jesus SAY?       &       What did Jesus DO?

  • Matthew 28:1–20
  • Mark 16:1–20
  • Luke 24:1–53
  • John 20:1–21:25
  • Acts 1:1–2:1
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3–8

Former pastor, professor and prolific author, Eugene Peterson, wrote about what we can learn from Jesus during this 50-day period between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost:

  • “To follow Jesus implies that we enter into a way of life that is given character and shape and direction by the One who calls us.  To follow Jesus means picking up rhythms and ways of doing things that are often unsaid but always derivative from Jesus, formed by the influence of Jesus.  To follow Jesus means that we can’t separate what Jesus is saying from what Jesus is doing and the way that He is doing it.  To follow Jesus is as much, or maybe even more, about feet as it is about ears and eyes” (The Jesus Way, p. 22).

Do we also need personal, tangible encounters with Jesus to enable and empower us to follow Him?  I believe the answer to that question is a resounding YESThis is why we invest time with Jesus, in His Word, each and every day.  Like the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and the apostle John, we “Eat the Word”!

Peace & Joy!

~ tr

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