I have always been amazed at how Jesus uses the last few hours of his life to prepare his followers for their ordeal as he faces the cross, their wonder in his resurrection, and their amazement at his ascension. There is so much happening in a relatively short time, and it is so unexpected. The disciples are eyewitnesses, but how will they remember it all? How can they be confident in what they do remember? Jesus makes it clear that there is one ultimate answer to these questions: the Friend, the Spirit of Truth, he will send from the Father! The Spirit will guide and confirm their message as well as empower them to share it boldly. And as we personally pass through the events of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in our own baptism, we are given this same Spirit of Truth to help guide us into this same truth they proclaim. The Holy Spirit is our connection to the Source of the story, the truth of the story, and the power of the story of Jesus. No wonder Jesus taught that we have to be “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:3-37)!
O Father, thank you that the gospel is so simple and clear — that Jesus died for me and was buried just as the Scriptures had said, and that he was raised from the dead. Thank you that I have been able to share in this incredible set of events through my own trust in Jesus as Lord and through my baptism as I called on his name. Thank you that the power of his resurrection now is alive in me through the Holy Spirit. Thank you, O God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.