I will always be with you even until the end of the age. – Jesus
The sky was bursting with color as the sun set over the sea. While on the shore the water gently rolled over the sand as the sandpipers looked for food. The disciples built themselves a fire and sat around it reflecting of the days gone by.
“I can’t believe he’s gone. It only seems like yesterday he was teaching us by the sea and telling us to follow him.” James recalled as he watched the sun set.
“Remember when he overturned the money changer tables at the temple? Or when he raised that man from the dead as they were carrying him to his grave!” said Thomas.
“What about the stories he would tell? Or all the miracles he did?” Matthew added.
“What really caught me was how he loved people, He never turned anyone away when they came to him!” John said as he looked around at the others who in turn nodded in agreement.
“It sure has been good to be with him these last few days. Now I understand why he allowed himself to be crucified. although the night he was arrested was the longest night of my life!” said Peter .
As Philip looked up into the sky he thought about the day Jesus appeared when they were all together at Peter’s house. It was the first time Thomas saw Jesus after he had rose from the dead.
Thomas came and knocked on the door at Peter’s house.
“Who is there?” a voice called out.
“It’s me Thomas, let me in, he responded. Andrew opened the door and let him in, as he looked around for anyone else who might have followed him.
“We have seen Jesus! He has risen from the dead!” Peter exclaimed.
“Yeah right!” Thomas said in unbelief.
“No! It’s true! Jesus is alive! I have seen him too! We all have!” Matthew joined in as he looked around at the others.
“Come on guys! Is this some kind of sick joke?” Thomas said angrily.
John came and put his hands on Thomas’ shoulders and said,
“Thomas, It is true. Just a few days ago, when Mary came and told us she had seen Jesus alive, we did not believe her either and then he appeared in the middle of the room! The door was locked when he just manifested out of the air! He is alive just as he said he would be!”
Pulling away from John in frustration Thomas said,
“Have you lost your mind! I miss him too, but for you to say he came back from the dead is unbelievable. Don’t you remember what he looked like when we buried him?”
“Thomas, we all saw him! He even showed us the holes in his hands and feet where the nails went through!”
Thomas shook his head in disbelief.
“Until I see him for myself, and put my finger in the wounds he received from his crucifixion, I will not believe he has come back from the dead!
Eight days later the disciples came together to discuss what to do next. Thomas joined them even though he still had his doubts about Jesus being alive.
Suddenly the room filled with glorious light and Jesus came and stood before them.
“Thomas, Jesus said as he stretched out his hands toward him.
“See my hands and feet? Put your fingers in them so you will believe and not doubt.”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas cried out as he fell to his knees at Jesus’ feet.
“Thomas because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Jesus said as he helped Thomas back to his feet. Then he opened their understanding so that they could know the reason he came and why he had to suffer.
Sparks went up into the night sky as Peter stirred the logs to keep the fire going. Matthew watching the sparks fade into the darkness recalled the last thing the Lord said to them.
Jesus met them on a hillside just outside of Bethany and began to instruct them on what they needed to do.
“All authority has been given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Then Jesus stretched out his hands and blessed them. As he was speaking, he started to ascend into heaven.
“Do not leave Jerusalem until you have received the Promise of the Father which you have heard from me; for John truly baptized you with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” he said as he faded into the clouds.
As they watched him go up two men dressed in glistening white apparel stood by them and said,
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
“What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said, ‘you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit?’ Andrew asked the rest of the group.
They all gazed into the fire as they thought about Andrew’s question.
“We must go Jerusalem and wait as Jesus told us to do.” Peter said as he got up to leave. The others put the fire out and began walking toward Jerusalem, rejoicing and praising God as they went.
There are many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
– John 21:25
This story is an adaptation of the events recorded in the gospels. *John 20:24-31, Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)