Friday, April 1
He was raised up.
Not many days after Jesus died, the apostle Peter faced a formidable and hostile group of men. They were powerful Jewish religious leaders—the very ones who had orchestrated Jesus’ death. The men demanded an explanation. Peter had healed a man who had been lame from birth, and they wanted to know by what power or in whose name Peter had done this. The apostle courageously answered: “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you executed on a stake but whom God raised up from the dead, by means of him this man stands here healthy in front of you.” Earlier, Peter had fearfully denied Jesus three times. What accounted for his courage now that he was before the religious leaders? Holy spirit played a vital role, but so did Peter’s certainty that Jesus had been resurrected.
The same scenario will play out in the future. In fact, Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and his blowing upon his disciples —infusing them with holy spirit —foreshadows the parousia and the revealing of the sons of God.
Prior to Jesus appearing to the disciples they had all been scattered and were in a state of great perplexity. The reason for their bewilderment was because they were deluded into imagining that Jesus would not die. Even though he told them on many occasions that he was going to be handed over and suffer and be raised up, they just couldn’t get it. That is why on one occasion after his resurrection Jesus appeared to them and explained things to them, with the added rebuke: “‘O senseless ones and slow of heart to believe all the things the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?’ And starting with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are in a similar position. They are slow to believe the prophets. They have been deluded into imagining that the Kingdom of God began ruling the world in 1914. It is simply beyond their grasp that Jesus’ presence will be a visible manifestation —at least to the chosen ones.
The outbreak of global war, financial collapse, food shortages, pandemics and great earthquakes will throw everyone into great confusion. In short, all the things the prophets spoke. How could the Watchtower have been wrong? will be a commonly asked question.
But during that bleak period Jesus will appear to the chosen ones. They will be infused with power, just as the apostles were when they became convinced that Jesus had been raised up. With their new-found power and conviction the sons of the Kingdom will stand before governors and kings and give them a witness. And then the end will come.