In Matthew 26 Jesus has been in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before the crucifixion. He has asked the disciples to pray with him and they keep falling asleep. Three times they fall asleep. He wakes them the third time and in verse 46 he says “Rise, let us go!”(NIV84) I like the KJV translation on it “Rise, let us Be Going!”
“Rise”. An emphatic command in the imperative finite tense. Jesus was saying “right now, this minute, GET UP”. Have you been there? You’ve failed, or you’ve fallen, maybe you got tripped, perhaps you were just tired, but there you sit.
It was 1980, Dayton, Ohio area, and I’m playing High School Soccer. That was when the “injustice” happened. I was advancing the ball, when a defender kneed me in the thigh. Oh the pain as that boney knee hit me in the soft tissue of my thigh. I went down, I was hurt, but the greater “injustice” was that it was a penalty, and the referee didn’t blow the whistle. The ball was taken away, the play advanced quickly to the other end of the field and I’m laying on the ground. My leg is hurting, my pride is hurting, my sense of justice is hurting, and I’m laying there while the game goes away from me. Over the crowd at the game, I hear a familiar voice, it was the voice of my father, Pastor James Goforth Sr. Yes surely he is hollering at the ref, supporting my cause. Then my ears hear what he is saying. He is calling out in an imperative finite tense, “Jim, Get up, you’re not hurt!” Wait, WHAT?!? Well, what was I going to do, plead, or play? I got up, grimaced, and in a few steps I was back in play. “RISE”
Rise … Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you”(NIV84) We need to get up because we have a light to shine, a job to do, and because the Lord himself RISES for us and in us. Psalm 68:1 “May God arise, may his enemies be scattered may his foes flee before you”(NIV84) – When we rise with Christ IN us … he is lifted up and we know that when he is lifted up he promised to “draw all men to myself”.
Rise Child of God – he is your Father – obey him
Rise Soldier in God’s army – we are in a battle
Rise Missionary on a Great Commission – there is a message to be delivered
Rise Ambassador – there is Reconciliation to be brought to an estranged world
“Rise, Let us ..” I can’t always get up alone, but if you will get up with me, I can get there. Grab my arm, I will grab yours, Let US. Let Us – WE are a Collective.
We are a Body – the finger doesn’t rise and go alone, it must have the body, Let Us
We are the House of God – a window doesn’t stand alone, it needs the walls, the walls need the foundation and other walls, the roof needs the walls and foundation, let US
We are the sheep of his pasture. Sheep operate in a flock, they are a collective animal. You seldom see a sheep alone and if you do they are usually in trouble, Let US
“Be Going” … oh we can BE a lot of things can’t we? Jesus could have said “Rise, let us be GONE”, or “Let us Be Afraid”, “Let us Be Complaining”, “let us be selfish”, … but he did not … he said “rise, let us be GOING”.
We have been given a Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 “Therefore Go and Make Disciples” … the translated word for “Go” more literally can be translated “AS you Go”. Go isn’t an option. Go is imperative, finite … “RIGHT now … you Go” … and so then “AS you RIGHT NOW GO … make disciples”.
Why was Jesus so emphatic about the GOING? Did you see the end of Matthew 46:26 “Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” There was urgency. Judas was on his way into the garden with solders to arrest Jesus and he was going to be tried and sentenced to die on a cross for our sin. Rise, Be Going because our enemy is at our heels. Rise and be going because we have an urgent job. Rise because our enemy isn’t sitting around, he is not lazy He is GOING, so rise and go! Jesus wasn’t saying “rise and go, let’s get out of here”. No he was saying “rise and let’s face our fate”. He didn’t run FROM Judas, he walked INTO the face of the enemy because it was FOR This that he came. We must RISE and Go, proclaim the message because 1) our enemy is proclaiming his false news 2) we have the good news, and 3) this is what we are here for. You WILL BE my WITNESSES (Acts 1:8)
Come on Christian –
Get up, you aren’t hurt, you aren’t unequipped, you aren’t uneducated, you aren’t alone, GET UP and get in the game
Rise, Let us Be Going!