Matthew’s Passion: Go
One of my least favourite verses of any hymn is the verse usually sung last in Amazing Grace, it does not sit well with the rest of the hymn. That verse goes…
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining like the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.
I don’t like the pie in the sky when you die sentiments, they make it sound like life is a station or departure lounge where we wait for the train or plane that takes us to heaven. Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that earth is not the departure lounge for heaven, earth is our destination.
Don’t get me wrong about Amazing Grace, I love that hymn, my favourite verse being…
Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far
And grace will lead us home.
That God’s grace leads us through life with all its difficulties is real to me. God is found in the lives of Christians where he is needed, where he wants us to find him and not where we want to find him. Jesus promised to be with us to the end of the age, and that has and is the experience of Christians fron then to now, Jesus with us in the good times but also in the bad, even through persecution and death.
The resurrection is a vindication of what Jesus achieved on the cross. We died in him and are raised into a new life as citizens oh heaven, but we are not told to sit and wait for heaven to appear on earth, we are sent out to work in the world, to live by the values of the Kingdom of God in the world and to bring others into God’s Kingdom.
A few are called to go to other countries to work for God, a few are called to lead churches, the rest of us are also called, to go into the building sites where we work, into the roads we repair, into the factories, shop floors warehouses and offices where we work, as we do so as citizens of Heaven we take a little Heaven with us. As we do so Jesus is with us. We are not promised an easy life. We are being sent into a word that does not want to be saved, we are promised that it will be hard, we are promised opposition, but more importantly we are promised Jesus with us.
This is what living a resurrection life means. To go. Jesus told us to go, Jesus promised to be with us, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower us to do his work.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28 ESVUK
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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