The Absent Savior

I Peter 2:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;…21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

This here in Peter is an important truth about Jesus Christ. We wonder sometimes within ourselves “Lord, where are you?” Peter refers to the Lord as gone. When we say someone is gone, it means they’re not around. I’ve caught myself praying for my sister whose been gone for seven months now. I’m so used to praying for her and I have to stop right in the middle and thank God that he healed her and took her on to heaven. I’ll not see her her again and it strikes a sad note. Jesus is gone but it shouldn’t strike a sad note.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if Jesus was still here? His absence benefits us in a far greater way. It means he can be with us in a better way. Jesus said he had to go away so the Comforter would come. Jesus could do anything when he was here but he had to go back to the Father. We can’t see him like the disciples did. Didn’t they still slip and fall like we do? They were still tempted like we are. They had to repent like we do. Humans are still humans. When Jesus went away he told us we would see a greater working. Somebody is there to help us when we need it. That someone is Jesus. We can’t see him with our eyes or hear him with our ears; we see and hear with our heart.

The absence of Jesus is a great blessing. We serve a gone Savior who is still real, more real. He said he would be with us alway, even to the end of the world. Jesus didn’t mis-pronounce the word. The verses say All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28).  He said ALL POWER is given to me in heaven and earth. No matter how powerful the darkness is in the facts of your life, there is a greater power. ALL POWER is given to him. He can reach down from heaven to earth and help.

It’s true. He is always with us. Saying it that way is fine. All the way to the end of the world, even though he seems absent and we can’t feel him. The devil will say God isn’t here BUT HE IS.  Alway is different from always. Always is to the end. How much further can he go than that? Whatever comes or goes you are in his hand if you trust him as Savior. One of Elvis’ last songs was “I Did It My Way” but if he didn’t get saved we know where he went. I’d rather say that I live my life God’s way. Jesus is the way. He is a person, not a religion. He’s more than a name. He’s the visible Word of God. Christianity is not another religion. Jesus despised religion and religious ways. He came to give us himself and be our Savior, our Intercessor. Through his person Jesus became our everything. Alway–all the way. His last words to the world were I am with you all the way. Has there ever been a time when he wasn’t there for you? Don’t pull a Mary or Martha on him. Don’t say “Lord, if you’d been here…” It’s not his fault. Where are we? Whether we believe it or not Jesus is here because he is there…in heaven. God–the Father, Son and Holy Spirit–are one in the same. We can’t be two places at once. Jesus is everywhere. Just because we don’t recognize him or feel him doesn’t mean he’s not here. He is gone so he can be here to the fullest degree.

Don’t trust yourself. Trust God. He is with us alway. Why should we be afraid or doubt? The devil may rear up powerful and overwhelming. But Herod still died and Jesus lived. Pilate bit the dust but Jesus arose. No doubt the angels missed Jesus when he came to earth, but he was born so we could have a Savior. In heaven he never had dirty feet, but he was the gospel come down to us. He walked dusty roads to bring it. Nothing can separate us from him. We are more than conquerors because of him. When he hung on the cross he cried “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This was said under a sign reading JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS. God was saying I’m allowing my son to die for your sins. None of us deserve it, but Jesus hung there for us. There was no sign at the tomb; it was obvious he was risen and gone. He had all power and told the disciples that before he ascended to heaven. He began to rise saying nothing more. What more did he need to say? The angels told the disciples he’d come again in like manner.

We can’t be two places at once but Jesus can. I don’t know how but he’s at the Father’s right hand as our Savior and Lord and here helping us. Never think he’ll let you down. He’s an all the way Savior. You can experience him through faith. We have the blessing of his absence here because of his presence there. It’s through the experience of his Spirit. Whatever step of the way you’re in, reach out to Jesus. He’s here. Call and he’ll answer.

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