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The church lives
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

When we consider the story of Jesus Christ, the end of His life is not a pleasant one and the future of His church seems seriously in doubt. He is betrayed by one of His followers when away from the protection of the crowd, and then forsaken by all the others. 

Jesus is left alone to face the angry Pharisees and Sadducees who seek to put Him to death. He is rushed to Pontius Pilate, governor of Judaea, then shuffled over to Herod, ruler of the province of Galilee, as the raging mob sought to find legal authority to have Jesus crucified. The local religious authorities hated Him and the teachings He presented, demanded His death, and were determined to crush those who believed in this man from Galilee.

None of the disciples were strong enough to stand in support of their Savior. They all ran and hid. Even Peter who was bold enough to mingle with the crowd awaiting the outcome of the trial found it necessary to deny even knowing Jesus three times. This whole scene does not speak well of the believers and gives virtually no hope of a successful outcome for the establishment of a new way to worship the Father.

However, the story was not over.

Jesus prayed for the disciples in John 17:15 saying, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” He declared to Peter that He had prayed especially for him, that he would strengthen the brethren in the days to come (Luke 22:32). In spite of all His teaching, the disciples still struggled to believe in the resurrection, even when Jesus appeared to them. Thomas is labelled “doubting Thomas” because he refused to believe the reports of his colleagues.

We may think the future church hung by a thread, but not really.

Jesus gave His blood that it would live and reach millions around the world with the message of hope and eternal salvation. The disciples were sent to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. This happened on the Day of Pentecost and the church was filled with power the likes of which the world had never seen. Many sick were healed, others bound with wicked spirits were delivered and thousands were released from the power of sin through the preaching of the gospel. Right in the midst of all this was Peter (the one Jesus prayed for), Thomas (the doubter) and the other disciples who forsook Him and fled in the garden that night.

The church still lives because Jesus lives and makes intercession for us!

(Rom.8:34, Heb 7:25)

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