Reason #15: Jesus Rose From The Dead...To Give His Disciples Their Identity In The World
What is the main identity or purpose of disciples disciples in the world? What is the main thing that identifies who we are in terms of our mission in the world.
There are many ways we could answer this question but one thing is for sure: if Jesus had not risen from the dead our purpose for being would be quite different.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead anyone following Jesus would only be able to say "he was a great teacher" but not much more.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead the disciples could have talked about about how loving and caring Jesus was but the conversation would not go much futher.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead the disciples could have shared about the healingins, the miracles, even about the sufferings and the cross but the converation would all be about what Jesus had done in the past.
But because of the resurrection disciples of Jesus can talk about the past, present and future work of Jesus.
Because he is risen the Resurrection comes the central aspect of how we are what we are witnessing about.
This new identity for Jesus' disciples is made clear in the first chapter of the book of Acts as the disciples are discussing and discerning who will take the place of Judas. We read the following about the criteria for true disciple of Jesus:
“Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22)
Jesus says something similar a few verses earlier:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
To be "my witnesses" requires a witness that talks about a risen Jesus, a Resurrected Lord, a living Christ.
As disciples in the world today let's tell people all about the work and ministry of Jesus--his teachings, his healings, his miracles, his suffering, and his death.
At the centre of all of this let's always make sure they know this same Jesus is risen and "will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)!