I kept sucking in my breath as the 4 seater Disney cart pushed us down the dark hallway of Tower of Terror ride at MGM studios. It was my first time on the ride and I had my children with me. I was suppose to be the grown up here. I couldn’t let them see my fear or they might feed off it, but I couldn’t see anything, and I knew just any moment something unknown would happen. My breathing was shallow and I was preparing my self for an expected unknown. I knew something thrilling was about to occur.
As I look back over the events of that first Easter morning and the subsequent events following, I think about those first disciples. They too were living through an expected unknown.
Jesus promised them in John chapter 16
“I have told you these things now so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. “I did not tell you these things at the beginning, because I was with you then. Now I am going back to the One who sent me. But none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Your hearts are filled with sadness because I have told you these things. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go away. When I go away, I will send the Helper to you. If I do not go away, the Helper will not come. When the Helper comes, he will prove to the people of the world the truth about sin, about being right with God, and about judgment. He will prove to them that sin is not believing in me. He will prove to them that being right with God comes from my going to the Father and not being seen anymore. And the Helper will prove to them that judgment happened when the ruler of this world was judged. “I have many more things to say to you, but they are too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words, but he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. The Spirit of truth will bring glory to me, because he will take what I have to say and tell it to you. All that the Father has is mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take what I have to say and tell it to you.”
John 16:4-15 NCV
Then later right before His ascension:
“After his death, he showed himself to them and proved in many ways that he was alive. The apostles saw Jesus during the forty days after he was raised from the dead, and he spoke to them about the kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. He said, “Wait here to receive the promise from the Father which I told you about. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” When the apostles were all together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, are you now going to give the kingdom back to Israel?” Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. These things are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.” After he said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud hid him from their sight. As he was going, they were looking into the sky. Suddenly, two men wearing white clothes stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, whom you saw taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you saw him go.””
Acts 1:3-11 NCV
The promise given:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them.”
Acts 2:1-4 NCV
Think with me for a moment about their in between times, the time between the moment Jesus promised the Holy Spirit and the moment the Spirit came in might and power.
The disciples were living in an expected unknown. The events of Passion Week left them fearful, Sunday morning revived their spirits, and Jesus’ ascension obviously left them with mouths gaping.
We read about the day of Pentecost from our side of His Story, but from their side of His story, they had no clue what His Promise of the Holy Spirit would look like.
April 1st, 2018 we celebrated Easter. May 20th will be 50 days after Easter, in other words Pentecost.
Over 2000 years ago the disciples were living through their middle.
The Hebrew word for Holy Spirit is “Ruach Hakodesh.” “Divine Inspiration.” Ruach is a Hebrew word meaning wind or spirit.
This day we know what this promise looks like. We can read about the Holy Spirit, but all they knew was some big wind was coming.
I wonder, were they sucking in their breaths; was their breathing shallow? Just what were they doing while they were waiting on the expected unknown?
Maybe they were waiting together and repeating over and over:
”Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. AMEN”
We too are living in the middle. We have been promised an expected unknown.
“Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.””
John 14:1-4 NCV
Maybe we should be together in one accord and pray
”Our Father who art in Heaven…”