When Jesus was seemingly defeated by his enemies his disciples except John and Mary fled. Peter even said he did not know who Jesus was–quite funny really as the whole of Judah knew of Jesus.
His defeat at the hands of the Jews was a severe test for their faith. And most of them failed the test–just as we would too.
They followed Jesus around for 3 years listening to his every word and watching all the miracles and healings. Now it was all over.
What was all that about!? I’m going back fishing Peter said.
They had put their faith in a man and that man had let them down –by dying. They had not seen Jesus for who and what He is…not yet.
Then there is the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24.
They are walking home to Emmaus after all that had happened in Jerusalem and were sad about it and confused. Jesus himself came to them
16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.
They only thought of Jesus as a prophet. They did not know Him yet as a LIFE GIVING SPIRIT –
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
They had hoped in a prophet of God to turn Judah back to God and to save the nation like the prophets of old.
They were dumbfounded that the chief priests and rulers of the people had “..delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.” They did not know that for this purpose He had come…The Father was pleased to crush/bruise His Son.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
They told Jesus as they walked that they were HOPING that it was he who would redeem Israel.
Now that Jesus–the prophet–was dead. It was over. They still needed to be redeemed but the one they had hoped in was gone!
Yet here he was with them.
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
What looked like DEFEAT to their eyes was necessary in the purposes of God. Through that DEFEAT Jesus defeated DEATH and the Grave. Jesus set mankind free from the power of sin and of Satan. Jesus has redeemed us by His blood sacrifice. Defeat was turned into victory by the wisdom of God.
In response to this DEFEAT and Victory Jesus did not tell them to go and round up all those who were responsible for killing him and to kill them….NO!!
Instead Jesus commissioned them to go and tell His enemies of the forgiveness of sins purchased by His death.
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Me gets the feeling that this death and setback in the natural over the last few days marks the beginning of a great outpouring of the Spirit of Grace upon the body of Christ to preach the Gospel with signs following.
Are you ready?
Also from this story we see that Jesus was made known to them as they shared bread together in their home….and later as the disciples were all gathered together Jesus appeared amongst them.
Small gatherings–Jesus is revealed.
Where two or three are gathered together in my name….I am in the midst!!
And if alone–Jesus and Father make three!
We do not know Jesus in the natural but in the Spirit.
Presently the world does not see Jesus walking with them and working alongside of them in OUR FORM….but in the breaking of bread they shall have their eyes opened.