This coming weekend is Easter Sunday. The day known around America as the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. His resurrection was predicted in the Old Testament and came to fruition in the New and this is the day our country has set aside to celebrate the plan God put together at the very beginning of time so that we may have a hope of being in Heaven with Him. So, as people all over the world reflect on Jesus’ resurrection, let us take time to do so as well.
In John 17: 1-26, Jesus is in the garden praying to the Lord before His crucifixion. While praying, not only does He speak about His resurrection but in the same breath prays for something specific. He specifically prayed for this one thing several times: unity among believers. First, among the disciples in verses 6-19 and then for us; those “Who would believe in Me through the hearing of their Word” in verses 20-26. Each time Jesus prays, He says for, “Them to be one as You and I are one.” speaking of the believers being united as Jesus and God are.
Why would unity be a focus of Jesus’ prayer? There are many answers, but I believe they all stem from one core answer, and that is: ununified believers are unsuccessful at spreading the Gospel. Down at the very core of our Christianity, our mission is to spread the Word of Christ. That is the point of establishing a church in an area. Ununified believers will focus on “internal problems” instead of coming together over small things and going out to save souls. Ununified believers don’t show the outward love that attracts people to listening to the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection. Just turn on any movie and you can see what society thinks of Christians. Any ununified sports team would play very poorly until they come together, and this truth is no different for the Church; except that this isn’t a game.
So, as we come together this Sunday and every Sunday after to celebrate the death and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, let us remember what Jesus Himself said and asked for of God when He ascended to the Father; unity among believers.
Psalm 133, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”