How do you cope with change? One creative friend of mine can only cope with routine for a short time, whereas other friends don't like change at all. Ask other people what you are like when it comes to adapting to change.
We recently held and event on the theme ‘Unchanging God of Change’. God is unchanging but He is always creating and making things new.
Of course, the greatest change in our lives is new birth. Some of us need to make that change, to come to the blood of Jesus, to get our sins washed away.
Then as we follow Jesus he prepares us for other great changes. As John’s gospel describes, people had left family and careers to follow Jesus and learn from him. Then Jesus dropped a bombshell – that He’s leaving – and the disciples don’t get it (John 16:5-7).
They grieved because they didn’t see what Jesus saw, the joy to come (Hebrews 12:2). We’ve had an amazing past in many ways but Jesus is asking us to change. It’s OK to grieve, and in some sense it’s only right to do so. However it’s crucial that in it all we don’t end up resisting God (Matthew 16:21-23) or bitter toward one another.
So Jesus did as he’d always foretold. This miracle-working revolutionary teacher went to the cross with the meekness of a lamb. The whole city had turned sour on Jesus and his disciples were afraid for their lives too. They locked themselves in. Confusing and impossible reports started to come in that Jesus’ body was missing.
Do you feel locked in a dark room? Jesus entered their dark room.
“Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Jesus comes by his Spirit and he brings change, like a wind tearing through the house. This meeting with Jesus and subsequent baptism in the Spirit so changed these men and women that they went on to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).
We can’t see the future, but, like Jesus’ disciples locked in a room, let’s be open to seeing again the one who holds the future.