After his suffering, he . . . gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
— Acts 1:3
Jesus could have talked to his apostles about all kinds of things after he had risen from the grave. He could have talked about what it was like to have nails driven into his hands and feet, and what it was like to come back to life and breathe again.
While Jesus might have mentioned those things, we know that he especially talked with his closest followers about the kingdom of God. His entire three years in the public eye were all about proclaiming and pointing to God’s kingdom and the full life it offers for everyone.
The kingdom of God means full life forever for all who believe in Jesus as the Savior whose death has paid for all our sin. And with this promise Jesus captured his followers’ imagination.
He wanted to help them understand that what they were signing up for was not a stale form of religion, directed by laws and rituals, but a new movement of God’s realm and reality that has entered human history through Jesus’ suffering and resurrection.
Jesus knew that what captures our imagination will shape how we live—and, more importantly, what we are willing to die for.
He talked about the kingdom of God so that his followers would be prepared to have a deep sense of awe over what was about to happen.
Holy Spirit, please renew and grow my imagination of what the kingdom of God is and what it can do in and through my life. Amen.