Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Helper

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth…"   
John 14:16-17

         If you own a red letter Bible, open it to the gospel of John and examine chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.  You will discover that most of the words recorded in these chapters are written in bright crimson.  Jesus, the Master, was speaking encouraging and instructive words to His beloved disciples just before crossing the ravine of Kidron into the garden of Gethsemane where He was arrested by a cohort of Roman soldiers, bound and taken before Caiaphas, the high priest.  From Caiaphas, Jesus was led into the Praetorium where Pilate asked "What accusation do you bring against this man?"  Although Pilate found no guilt in Him, he had Jesus scourged, a horribly cruel act in which the victim was stripped, tied to a post and beaten with leather thongs embedded with bits of sharp bone or metal that ripped the skin.  Pilate then handed Jesus over to the Jews who crucified Him.  That dark day was followed by another one of hopelessness and despair.  Then came Sunday!

         Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb where Jesus had been laid and found it empty because "up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o're His foes"!  After appearing to His disciples over a period of 40 days, He instructed them to not leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what He and the Father had promised - a Helper.  After Jesus had said these things, He was lifted up and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  In an upper room in Jerusalem, they waited.  On the day of Pentecost, suddenly there came a noise from heaven and the disciples were filled with the promised Holy Spirit!  Out in the streets, Peter addressed the crowd that had gathered after hearing the noise.  Those that received or believed his words about Jesus were baptized, about 3,000 souls.  Forever imprinted in their memory were the red letter words, "I will send you a Helper.  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and will abide in you."

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know…the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe…"       Eph. 1:18-19

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