Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. – Matthew 28:20
Sometimes when we talk about a friend or relative who has passed away, we speak about them “still being with us.” We recall things they said or did and we remember times we had with them, and our memories contain feelings and emotions of those times together. They are with us in our thoughts and even in our hearts because of the depth of our memories. I am sure the disciples had a similar experience. The words and teachings of Jesus and the times they had spent with Him were vividly recollected. But Jesus is promising more than memories. He is promising an actual presence.
When we begin to understand that we live in a spiritual world as well as a physical one, we start to understand how God’s presence surrounds us every moment. God is with us at all times, because as the maker of all things He exists in all places. The depth of that experience grows as we learn more about Him and become closer to Him. Yet this presence is one of love and not simply an aspect of His existence. His is not with us just because He is God, He is with us because He chooses to be with us.
Jesus makes this a point of encouragement: You can be courageous, because I am always with you. You can be strong, because I am always with you. You can keep going, because I am always with you. You can do all things, because I am always with you.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior — and more than that He is the one who loves us and is all-powerful. And He has promised to always be with us!