As odd as it may sound, people have been pursuing Jesus for several millennia. Prior to his incarnation (fancy word for God becoming human), the writers of what we know as the Bible today, were already writing about Jesus. They long anticipated a Messiah (savior) who would come and rescue God’s people from oppression and set them apart as a holy people so they could continue the great work promised to them centuries before… to be a light and blessing to all peoples around the world. Well, Jesus came. Many of his contemporaries didn’t recognize him as Messiah even though he taught with authority, performed numerous miracles and fulfilled the many prophecies about the long expected Messiah. At the hands of people who were too consumed with their own worldview and unable to muster the humility to reassess in light of Jesus, he was executed. For most would be saviors, that would have ended their work. But not Jesus… he came with a goal to initiate a great rescue plan for humanity (which had long suffered from evil, sickness, brokenness & death) and would not be stopped by a ghastly inhumane form of execution by the world’s foremost experts in execution techniques (the Romans).
Just two days after his death (the third day), Jesus was resurrected. Many who witnessed him after his resurrection would go on to tell stories about the risen Jesus. Despite even greater persecution because of their belief in Jesus’ resurrection, his earliest followers continued to share the story of Jesus with nearly everyone they met. After forty days, following His resurrection, Jesus interacted with his followers, teaching and encouraging them to continue his rescue plan for the world. Jesus then ascended to be with his father. That could have been yet another big downer. But… he told his followers that he would send them someone even better to help them continue the work. Ten days after his ascension, the Holy Spirit came on a day called Pentecost… a day when many Jewish people from all over the Roman empire were visiting Jerusalem. From there forward, those following God and carrying on his rescue plan would have his Spirit with them, wherever they would go. Today, billions of people around the world live in the awareness that Jesus is alive and billions more live with the opportunity to know him, be rescued by him, follow him and engage in his ongoing work of rescuing creation with the power and presence of his Spirit.