Have you ever wondered why Jesus went back to his Father? When he rose from the dead he appeared to many people in his resurrection body. Was he a ghost? Was he wandering the earth waiting for his time? Did he have to go?
Staying here would have solved a few problems like the evidence for the resurrection. We had an empty grave but what if he had been around for the last two thousand years? Who could doubt him then?
He could have solved countless disputes about doctrine, told us which books he wanted in the Bible, which denominations had the right beliefs (if any). There would have been no need for the crusades or many other wars. He would be head of the church – all of it. He could put us straight on women in church, gay marriage, abortion, alcohol…
So why did he walk away?
Imagine a world with one ancient Jesus. He’s the only one. You might get to see him once in your lifetime unless you are very rich. You have to fly to his house and queue up to have a few seconds with him. Maybe he will come to your country and a million people show up with you.
He will be on TV no doubt and there will be podcasts and youtube videos but it won’t be personal. The wealthy will get to him and we will miss out even though his ministry is as much to the poor. Seven billion people are trying to see him at least once. What chance do we have?
The solution? Father says, “Jesus come home. Holy Spirit can achieve everything we want to do and you can work with him.”
The result is messy but now people are empowered to be like Jesus. He can say, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” John 14:12 NLT
As is so often the case, God’s better way was not the one we would have chosen. But we have the privilege of living like Jesus, empowered to be like him. We mess up. We get it wrong. We even head in totally the wrong direction and God smiles and trusts us.
I don’t believe God is anything like as concerned about what we believe as we are. He sees our hearts. He is love and our job is to express that love by receiving it, loving him back and giving it away.
Thanks to Unsplash for the photo.