136-Pioneering movements in India

Colin Craggs (L) Carolyn Craggs (R) and local partners.

Colin Craggs (L) Carolyn Craggs (R) and local partners.

In this episode I talk to Colin and Carolyn Craggs in India.

UPDATE: The link is fixed. You can listen and download the episode.

After Easter, Before Pentecost

Peter and John Running to the tomb on the Morning of the Resurrection, Eugene Burnand  c.1898.

Peter and John Running to the tomb on the Morning of the Resurrection, Eugene Burnand  c.1898.

I’ve been thinking about the time between Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. What was it’s purpose? Let’s see what Luke has to say in Luke 24 and Acts 1.

The disciples needed time to know that Jesus truly was risen from the dead. He was not a phantom for a product of their imagination. He walked with them. They shared meals. He taught them. This really was Jesus. But not a resuscitated Jesus that somehow had survived the Cross. His was a real body, that was no longer limited to time and space. Over 40 days Jesus gave them many convincing proofs.

This surprises me — Jesus went on to teach them from the Old Testament. Surely it’s enough to have the living Word in the room, but Jesus wants to take them from Moses through all the Prophets and everything inbetween. That’s how seriously he took the Scriptures. 

As Jesus met with them and taught them from the Scriptures the shock subsided, their eyes were opened, and they recognised him. They finally understood the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead.

He made it clear this was not the End but the beginning of the End. There was now a job to do. They were to take what he had taught them to the ends of the earth, starting in Jerusalem. Repentance for the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations. 

It doesn’t get clearer than that. They have convincing proofs of his resurrection. Jesus has opened their minds to what the Scriptures teach about him. Now before he returns, they must take the message to the world.

Then he tells them, there’s one more thing. . . .

What to do on Easter Monday morning?

The Road to Emmaus by Robert Zund (1877).

The Road to Emmaus by Robert Zund (1877).

Easter Sunday is over. The disciples are waking up, wondering was it real? Is he alive? They look around the room and smile at one another. He IS Risen.

But what next? Shall we rise up and remove the Romans from power? Take over the Temple? Make Jesus King! Then wait for the nations to flock to Jerusalem.

Everybody had an opinion. But what was Jesus’ agenda? 

Two thousand years later we still haven’t worked that out. We’re as clueless as the first disciples. Until Jesus speaks.

All authority has been given to him. We are to make disciples of all nations by going, baptizing and teaching them to obey Jesus’ commands.  The message of the forgiveness of sins must go to the whole world. Prepare to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

Once Jesus pointed them in the right direction, they knew what to do. When they got stuck, the Spirit moved them on.

The Word keeps spreading and doesn’t stop. Jews and Gentiles turn and believe the gospel and immediately begin gathering. Churches start popping up everywhere.

It wasn’t easy. But it was clear. They knew what to do. They got on with it. 

The best sermons, books and conferences can’t help you. Unless they lead you into obedience to Jesus. Put your mission on hold. Embrace his.

What Britons believe about Easter

Resurrection.jpg
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
— Paul

The BBC reports:

  • 17% of all people in Great Britain believe in the Resurrection as recorded in the Bible.
  • A quarter of people who describe themselves as Christians in Great Britain do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Almost one in ten people who say they have No Religion believe the Easter story.

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