I always hesitate to write especially in seasons such as these, where almost everyone has an opinion making it a tedious task to sort out the very mind of God among the many views! However, at the beginning of the year, I did mention to my local church that 2020 is the season that every believer needs to crave for a profound relationship with the Holy Spirit of God than ever before! Before you continue reading, kindly spend some time to read Luke 24:13-29.
I hope you read. Let us go straight to the point, Jesus was the superman or say captain planet of the disciples while alive. His presence made them important, added value to them and they lacked nothing. He (Jesus) was an answer to their spiritual and physical needs. He could multiply foods, heal the sick, raise the dead and fill their boats with fishes after many futile previous attempts. Above all, he could confront the sects, Pharisees and governments of their time with undiluted courage. Somehow, they expected him to stay forever or maybe a little longer.
Nevertheless, one night, in a single night, in the space of a few hours Jesus was arrested as a criminal and was killed like an animal. As though that was not enough, His body vanished from the tomb amidst the soldiers sent to bodyguard the corpse of a dead savior. Therefore, for the first time, the reality dawned on them, He was gone, and Jesus was not just dead, but the only evidence of His existence was gone. As they walked 8 miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus, probably fleeing for fear that the leaders of the synagogue would come after them as well, seem to have given up all for lost and to have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not the Messiah, though they naturally conversed about it, and there were many things which they could not explain. Their Master had been crucified contrary to their expectation, their hopes dashed, their anticipation disappointed, and they were now returning in sadness, and very naturally conversed, in the way, of the things which had happened in Jerusalem.1
Just like their days, today, the world is faced with a question for which we have no material answer – COVID19! Nations have given up and lost all hope, as they cannot explain COVID19. Yet the spread of death to regions is not moved NOR deterred by the powerlessness of modern intelligence and science to curb the threat. The question is, WHO HAS THE ANSWER?
However, a continuous study of the scripture tells us that while they discussed their tragedy a Man walked up to them. He identified with them, and check it out, I say check it out, He never contributed to the conversation as one who was under fear nor panic. Rather His words were full of Comfort and Assurances. Brethren, there is Comfort and Assurance in Christ (Heb 13:5). In fact, Cleopas retorted, “are you are stranger in Jerusalem so that you are unaware of the tragedy we suffer”. Many believers are being and shall be called strangers because of their exercise of Faith in God in this era! They are being be ridiculed and castigated for holding prayer sessions. Nevertheless, the just shall Live by Faith! For without Faith, it is impossible to please God! Jesus walked with them all through the journey and when they finally got to Emmaus, in an attempt to have Him stay and not leave them they urged Him saying “STAY WITH US” (Luke 24:29). They could tell His concern and love, they could see His real interest in their wellbeing. Jesus consented to their plea, and by the time the fellowship ended, their eyes were opened, answered were given and their hope restored!
Brethren, just as these disciples experienced, Jesus is here to go through these times with us. He has our best interest at heart just as He did with the disciples. The Ten Commandments as a friend puts it of regular washing of hands, not touching faces, wearing of mask and gloves, sanitizing, staying home though required are not the ultimate solutions. Truth be told, many people will not be able to keep up, else, most European nations would not be where they are now! This is the time we must remember the scripture that unless “God builds, we build in vain, unless God watches we watch in vain” (Psalm 127:1). This is the time to wake every morning crying to the Lord, “STAY WITH US”. There are many hash-tagging #STAYSAFE. Nevertheless, there is no “#STAYSAFE” outside Staying with “HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO” (Heb 4:13). In this period of fear, uncertainty, panic, suspense, and above all despondency2, can we as believers universally lift up one voice to cry out “LORD, STAY WITH US!” Honestly, as I try harder to limit my writings all I can say is it is time to cry out to the Lord, STAY WITH US! If we cherish His presence in this season above everything else, everything else will make sense (Matt 6:33).
Finally, by the time Jesus left them, they had an answer; we too shall have any answer to COVID19 if Jesus is invited to STAY WITH US. Glory to God!
1 Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
2 J. Kwabena Asamaoh-Gyadu, The Holy Spirit Our Comforter; An Exercise in Homiletic Pneumatology (Accra: Step Publishers, 2017), 91.
Written by Mr. Charles Okoro