ACTS 1:3 // The king is alive
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty day and spoke about the kingdom of God.
It makes a great difference that Jesus is alive. It changes everything. Paul writes to the Romans (Romans 5:6-7) that for a good person someone may dare to die. We were not good but still Christ died for us. And no matter how daring the one dying and no matter how good the cause, that person would remain dead. It makes all the difference that death is indeed swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54). Every sacrifice that preceded Jesus ultimately failed. They didn’t really ‘work’. Unlike Jesus’s perfect and pinnacle sacrifice, those Old Testament sacrifices were: 1) a temporary solution that would need to be repeated. 2) a reminder of the people’s sin and their ongoing inability to achieve intimacy with God. 3) a sign pointing to a greater sacrifice yet to come. Jesus’s death was not temporary, flawed or a sign. It literally ushered in a new kingdom. His suffering was enough. His death and his resurrection are still completely, beautifully sufficient. And what did Jesus talk to his followers about after his resurrection? The king of kings spoke about his kingdom. He shared the truth of what life would be like with a new king; with a realigned allegiance. The gospels don’t speak so much of this 40 days – rather they rely on the presentation of the kingdom through the life of Jesus. And as we will see, Luke continues the revelation of ‘what the kingdom is’ in this second book, Acts.
How would I describe the kingdom of God to a friend in plain English? Try writing or talking it out.
Victorious God, let me know you as king, let me serve you as king, let me worship you as king.