The apostle John lived with Jesus for approximately three years, beholding all His miracles and hearing all His teaching, but it was not until he arrived at the empty tomb that he truly believed. Jesus’ resurrection remains at the essential core of the Christian faith, and our Lord continues to draw people to the empty tomb where they find life and forgiveness in Him.
Not being in control scares us, which is bad because we are never truly in control of our lives! We also tend to respond badly to not being in control, frequently resorting to compromise, attack, or flight. But Jesus was in complete control of His circumstances even when He seemed to be at His most vulnerable. When isolated, He remained secure. When betrayed, He remained undaunted. When arrested, He remained in command. The Savior who was in full control of His own crucifixion is more than able to govern our lives in righteousness as we look to Him for grace.
One of the most amazing things about Jesus’ final encounter with Peter is that He not only forgave his betrayal, but restored him to a position of leadership. Christ’s love is so deep that it that it not only saves us, but restores us to the places God intended for us from the beginning. Part of the good news of Advent is that there is no life so lost or broken that it cannot be restored by the love of Christ through His work on the cross.
An important part of the Bible’s instruction on prayer comes from our Lord himself when he said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name…” (John 14:14). But what did Jesus mean by praying in his name? The Westminster Confession and Catechisms, our own denomination’s doctrinal standards, have a very practical section on prayer (more so than many other major reformed standards from the Reformation). We’ll look at what the Westminster standards teach us about prayer, specifically what it means to pray in the name of Christ.
Knowing full well what lay before Him, the Lord Jesus proceeded to the cross undaunted. His resolve to glorify His Father resulted in our salvation, as well as in all the strength we need to live undaunted Christian lives as we trust in Him by faith.