Summary: The Bible records a Calendar of Events in the story of redemption by Jesus as Red-Letter Days: His Birth, Cross, Ascension, the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the Second Coming.
RED-LETTER DAYS IN GOD’S CALENDAR
Here’s my calendar for July. (………) I mark up the days which have a special meaning for me or an event to watch out for. Last month I did have a calendar event – it was my birthday! That was a ‘red-letter day’, something which marks an important day. I won’t tell you how many years it was but it was quite a long time ago! It made me wonder if God keeps a calendar. I think He does, probably not like the one we have, made up of twelve sheets, one for each month of the year, with little squares for each day. No, because God in His wisdom and knowledge of everything has planned events in history according to a wonderful timetable for His creation. I’ve called it ‘God’s Calendar’ and I’m sure it’s got some ‘red-letter days’ marked on it.
God doesn’t live in time like we do because He’s eternal, something I can’t begin to understand, but as far as this Earth is concerned, He has a calendar of events in His revealing His love to mankind. One of the greatest days in God’s calendar would be:
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
In our own calendars we would mark up the 25th day of December and call it ‘Christmas Day’. Of course the exact date of the birthday of Jesus is unknown but it certainly was an important date in the history of the Earth. The Bible tells us that God had a special day in His calendar: ‘But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son’ (Gal 4:4). But that was only the beginning of the wonderful life of Jesus. What do you think was the next ‘Red-Letter Day’ in God’s Calendar? (………) I think it was:
THE CROSS OF JESUS
God’s plan of history is quite wonderful. The people of Israel were being prepared for the coming Messiah by a rather strange man called John who lived like a hermit in the wilderness by the River Jordan. He called on the crowds who came to see him to repent of their sins and be baptised. One day he saw Jesus, his cousin, coming towards him and he was inspired to cry out: ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29). And how was Jesus to do this? Jesus said He ‘came … to give his life a ransom for many’ (Matt 20:28). You know the dreadful story of how Jesus was condemned to die because the religious people wouldn’t accept Him as the Son of God. Jesus was crucified at Calvary. But that wasn’t the end because God’s calendar had another wonderful event, three days later:
THE RESURRECTION JESUS
On our calendars it’s called ‘Easter Day’. Jesus had predicted: ‘After three days I will rise again’ (Matt 27:63) – and He did! It’s the story of the impossible – a dead man rises. God demonstrated His victory over Satan and the power of death. It’s the guarantee of eternal life for all who put their trust in Jesus as their Saviour. Forty days after the Resurrection God’s calendar has another entry:
THE ASCENSION OF JESUS
Jesus had a bodily form of a human being, but now it was an altogether new form of existence: He could appear through closed doors. He certainly surprised His disciples in making many appearances before the day when He ascended into heaven. Jesus explained it like this: ‘I am leaving the world and going back to the Father’ (John 16:28) and He’s now ‘at the right hand of God’ (16:19). It was His coronation day. But ten days later God had planned another great event:
THE DAY OF PENTECOST
Jesus had told His disciples to ‘wait for the gift my Father promised’ (Acts 1:4). The 120 disciples had the surprise of their life. There was: ‘a violent wind … tongues of fire … strange languages’ (Acts 2:2,3). The disciples were changed from frightened people to fearless ‘witnesses … to the ends of the earth’ (1:8) of the redemption made possible by Jesus. But that’s not the last date I want to mention in God’s calendar. What do you think it is? (………) It’s still in the future because it’s:
THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS
We know this great day is coming when Jesus takes His place as the King of Kings. The disciples who witnessed the ascension of Jesus were told by two angels: ‘Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus … will come back’ (1:11). Of course we don’t know when He will return – it could be tonight or in a thousand years! Jesus told His disciples ‘not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ (Matt 24:36). What we have to do is to be sure we are ready for His coming by putting our trust in Him and living in a way pleasing to Him.
We’ve had a quick look at God’s Calendar. I hope that when you look at your own calendar you’ll think of the great events, both past and future, in God’ Calendar.