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With Jesus at the Last Supper

A Word for Today | John 16:7

Today, Christians remember the Last Supper, when Jesus observed the Passover meal with the disciples before His arrest later that night.  After the meal, our Lord gave what is called the Farewell Discourse, recorded in John 14-16, informing His followers about His loving care for them after His departure: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn. 16:7).  Contrary to our fears, Jesus said that the quality of our discipleship with Him is greater now that He has departed from the world, since He now lives in us by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ parting words with His disciples tell us three vital things as we exercise our faith during this present trial.  First, we are reminded that Jesus’ care for His beloved people has not lapsed during His absence from earth.  Romans 8:34 says that Jesus “is at the right hand of God…interceding for us.”  This means that in every dark night or long trial that we face, we never are left to our own resources.  As Jesus calmed the winds and the waves of the turbulent sea when He was with his disciples in the boat, we should feel peace in our pandemic by knowing that Jesus is praying for us with the Father, ensuring that our souls will be kept safe.

Second, Jesus taught that by means of His indwelling Spirit, we actually have a greater ability to “connect” with Him than His earthly disciples enjoyed.  Think of how often Peter and the others failed to understand Jesus’ teaching and how they failed in their faith when Jesus was arrested.  But we have the Holy Spirit energizing our faith so that it will not fail.  Jesus said that the Spirit would come to “guide you into all the truth” (Jn. 16:13).  He was referring to the inspired writings of the New Testament, by which we may hear our Savior’s voice and be encouraged.  The Holy Spirit will, Jesus said, “take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 16:15).  Through the Scriptures, the Spirit declares forgiveness, divine love and acceptance, and saving power from Jesus Christ.  What a joy that we now have the Spirit of Christ shining the light of His Word into all our anxiety and distress.

Third, because Jesus is now in heaven, we have the joy of knowing that His cross is behind Him.  He is now enthroned in heaven and our saving relationship with God is accomplished.  And while we will have earthly trials like the one we now face, there is no present affliction that will not lead to greater joy.  Each of us might pray to our Savior today with thanks and love, remembering His comforting promise: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (Jn. 16:20).

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Phillips

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