We never really focus on the day after, do we?
Think about the emotional hurricane that has just swept through the apostles’ lives: A week ago, their Master was hailed as the Lord of Lords as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. That Thursday night, the world seemed to turn inside out as Jesus was taken prisoner. Things went down from there. Friday, the people turned against him. He was not the King they wanted. They had him murdered. Then, just two days later, Jesus stood before them, greeting them in peace and urging them to rejoice.
And now, the day after Easter… what did the Apostles do?
Simply put, we don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us. They had plenty to talk about, though. Jesus had appeared to all the apostles except Thomas. He had appeared to several women. He had appeared to the Emmaus disciples. We know he appeared to them repeatedly over the next forty days, but it appears that Jesus stayed away over the next week, since Thomas is still unbelieving a week after Easter. What did they do for that week? What did they do after the world, already turned inside out, went upside down?
We do know that everything had changed. We do know that they rejoiced. We do know that they still feared the Jews. We do know that they still didn’t have everything straight in their heads.
In other words… they were like us.
They still struggled with their sinful natures. As new creations, they still had room to grow. Despite this, as blood-bought souls, their salvation was certain. Their salvation had nothing to do with their growth. It had nothing to do with how much they had absorbed of Jesus’ teaching.
It had everything to do with Jesus, who was once dead, but was now alive. The apostles didn’t help Jesus in saving them. They were rescued from the death they deserved by Jesus, pure and simple.
You are saved. You have been rescued from every evil act you have performed and every good act you have failed to perform. It has nothing to do with you. It isn’t your chosing Jesus that saves you. It is not the strength of your faith that saves you. It isn’t that you’re struggling to continue to grow in your sanctification that saves you.
Jesus saves you.
Yes, you are saved through faith. Let’s not forget that – but let’s also not put more stress on faith than we should. It is not YOUR faith that saves you. It is the faith that Jesus gave you.
Just like those apostles, you did not help Jesus in anything, even in letting him into your heart. The gift of God is salvation. God himself gives faith:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
No, you have been freed. And, as always, God freed his people without their help. Why should you be any different?