Would You Walk With Jesus for 40 Days?
[Editor’s Note: Christians all over the world faithfully celebrate Holy Week, the days leading to and including Jesus’ death and resurrection. But what about the time between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension? To mark those days after Easter Sunday of this year, David Bryant invites you to join him 0n an extraordinary journey.]
Don’t you find it just a little bit curious that after the first Easter’s sun had set Jesus planned to stick around a little longer? Not just a few hours or a few days, but for weeks!
After all, on Easter his race was done; his victory was won. Next on the prophetic agenda—as Scripture foretold and as Jesus talked and prayed about in the Upper Room (John 13-17)—was his ascension followed by his coronation as King of kings.
And yet, we read in Acts 1:
After his suffering, he presented himself to [the apostles] and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God (NIV).
Three Years Was Insufficient. There Was Much More.
He stayed on earth for forty more days! Forty days for the disciples to walk with Jesus in his resurrection glory. Forty days of eating with him (Acts 10:41) and sitting at his feet as he conducted an extended class on the kingdom of God. Forty days for the disciples to discover a whole lot more about what it meant for their crucified Savior to be alive—to be truly, forever alive.
One might say the Master Teacher bridged the time between the empty tomb and the outpouring of the Spirit with an intensive graduate course on “Christology”—what we might call a “Super Seminar on Christ’s Supremacy.”
If you had been around then, would you have wanted to sign up? Actually, would you have dared to miss it?
Would you like to get in on this during the spring of 2017?
So Much More of Christ to Discover!
As surprising as it may have seemed to his disciples, our Lord really did intend to have this interlude between his resurrection and his triumphant entrance into heaven’s throne room. Evidently he had some pretty important unfinished business—an agenda that was worth the delay.
From Acts 1 we know what it was. Our Lord felt there was so much more his followers needed to know about himself and his dominion over sin, death, and Satan—about the Kingdom. Before he returned to the Father he knew he needed to set aside a few more weeks to pour these larger truths into his followers.
Mind you, already the disciples had spent three full years in his presence, drinking day and night of his person, his vision, his powers, his words. But now on the other side of the grave Jesus had whole new dimensions of his glory and greatness for them to explore.
Jesus understood that without this additional cultivation of their knowledge of him, without a richer revelation of the wonders of who he is as the truly alive, resurrected King of glory, they would not be ready to take on his grand global cause that lay before them—the dramatic events captured throughout the book of Acts that sent the gospel out to the ends of the earth.
Do You Need This Same Jesus Upgrade?
Is it possible that there are deeper insights into the glories of God’s Son waiting for you to explore and experience that would make you more fully alive to Christ who is truly alive?
Is it possible that even though you have given yourself to Christ, studied the Bible in church for years, and can recite the Apostles’ Creed that there still remains far more for you to discover about the greatness and grandeur of our King than you have imagined that would make you more fully alive to Christ who is truly alive?
What if you were given the opportunity to taste the thrill of the early disciples during those precious forty days after Easter? Would you take it?
Well, there is a way every one of us can! You can take part in a study of God’s Son that’s never been available like this until recently—involving an approach that helps today’s disciples go deeper with Jesus week by week, just as his followers did as they journeyed with him in Acts 1.
For believers in metro New York City and New Jersey there’s an actual on-site college course beginning in a few days for precisely this purpose. But if you don’t live in this part of the country, don’t despair! A similar experience is available for you too—online.
Let me tell you about the first option and then show you how you can start enjoying the second.
Coming Alive with Christ Alive!
Starting two days after Easter, the continuing education outreach of Pillar College (New Jersey’s only fully-accredited Christian college) is offering a classroom adventure called CHRIST ALIVE!: Explore and Experience the Spectacular Supremacy of God’s Son Today, Tuesday evenings for nine weeks. Soon it will be available to Christian colleges nationwide.
When it was first introduced last fall, CHRIST ALIVE! received rave reviews from students! A 25-year-old student reported that even on the job he felt more passionate for Christ than ever before. A pastor shared that now his preaching and teaching is giving Christ the preeminence in the way his people desperately need to hear.
Now, as a credit- or non-credit-bearing course, CHRIST ALIVE! is again available from April 18 through June 13 (registration deadline is April 13), at the Pillar College Newark campus. The weekly sessions are based on the widely respected lecture series called The Christ Institutes.
For those who live far from the NYC area, those foundational lectures are already available to you online in video format at ChristNow.com! You can view them in your own home at your own pace, and you don’t even have to wait until Easter to start! Log onto The Christ Institutes Video Series to see for yourself.
Whether presented in the classroom or online, the content can be boiled down to seven simple prepositions, which put together unpack everything the Bible teaches about the glory and greatness of our Lord Jesus and our life in him.
Digging into these visually creative lectures will give you a tiny sample of what Jesus must have shared with his disciples during those forty days after his resurrection. The seven dimensions of Christ’s supremacy include:
- Who Christ is TO us (by his personhood; his deity; as the picture of Scripture; the claims of his names; as our identity and destiny; etc.)
- Who Christ is FOR us (the four-fold revolution of his incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension—with a special emphasis on the ascension, which may be the most neglected doctrine of the Bible in evangelical churches)
- Who Christ is OVER us (as he reigns over creation, world history, global rulers, earth’s peoples, powers of darkness, and the building of the Church)
- Who Christ is BEFORE us (going ahead of us—into the future to bring it back to us; into the heavens to bring us there with him; into God’s promises to make them ours as well; and into the world to open up the ways for us to serve him)
- Who Christ is WITHIN us (living out his victorious, ascended, reigning life in each of us individually and most of all among all of us corporately)
- Who Christ is THROUGH us (as he unleashes his power and ministry into the world through us individually, but again, most of all as he works through us together, without limits, right to the ends of the earth)
- Who Christ is UPON us (as he comes upon us in times of renewal and awakening to accelerate and intensify and expand on all he is already doing among us and through us, and as he will one day come upon the entire universe in his glorious return, to transform the entire creation into a new heaven and earth where he will reign supreme forever, to the glory of God the Father and by the saturation of God the Spirit)
How Will You Spend the Weeks Between Easter and Pentecost?
Would you like to experience an Acts 1-type walk with Jesus in his resurrection glory?
Then consider becoming more fully alive to Christ through the CHRIST ALIVE! program or The Christ Institutes Video Series. One way or another, let’s make the most of this season in order to “ . . . grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!” (2 Peter 3, The Message).
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ-proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI) and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely-read book at www.ChristIsAllBook.com.