It’s getting closer to the end of the school year. Our River Ministries Children’s Program will be winding down and giving the final instructions for the year. The seniors in high school and college don’t have many classes left and are closing in on their teachers last instructions for their courses before they take their final exams. And many others also receive final instructions in the careers etc.
The term “final instructions” is also used with one’s Last Will and Testament. It is that list of things not covered in the rest of the will. It may contain, bank account numbers, life insurance account numbers, passwords and/or pin numbers, and perhaps where to find the key to the safety deposit box or where these things and other things might be found. It is as it says “final instructions.”
Interesting enough our Word of God is divided into two parts, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. And that is to be understood as a Last Will and Testament. So it is not surprising to find Jesus giving “final instructions” to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead and before returning to his Father.
Acts1:4-8 On one occasion, while [Jesus] was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Verse 6 above shows you that they were still in need of some instruction. After Jesus rose from the dead he spent forty days on earth, giving his final instructions to his disciples. He walked with them and instructed them.
As we enter our Easter season of the church year, we look forward to the instructions we will receive from Jesus. We start with why we have his written Word, “so that we might believe.” Then we move to the forgiveness of Peter and a command to follow Jesus. Learning and following Jesus’ word is how we do this. We then are reminded of the fact that our God, Jesus, is our Good Shepherd who lays down his life for us. And we follow that with Jesus telling us that he will send the Holy Spirit to us. It is Holy Spirit that leads us through the instructions of the Lord helping us to remember Jesus’ instructions. And then we are instructed that we can pray. And on the last Sunday in April this year we are reminded to pray and ask from the Father, and one thing that we ask is that we, as well as others, may continue to have peace in Jesus and the forgiveness and everlasting life he gives us.
In this Easter season of 2016 I pray we hear God’s instruction to us. We can come and hear of his forgiveness when we feel the burden of our wrongs to others and to God. We can come and hear of the hope we have in our Resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.
We all need “final instructions” and Jesus gives them to us in his Word.
Alleluia, He is risen,