One important thing to remember about Jesus’ death and resurrection is that Jesus’ entire mission to earth was about fulfiling a promise that God made to an old friend. He promised Abram of Ur of the Chaldees that Abram would have a “seed” (descendant or descendants) that would “bless” “all the families of the earth” (Gen. 12:1-3). Jesus’ birth of the royal line of the tribe of Judah began that mission. Jesus’ death and resurrection made salvation possible. Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to indwell His people and convert all people continues Jesus’ mission.
On the night he died, Jesus talked about that mission at length with his disciples (John 13-17). He told them they were specially chosen to witness about him. He told them that they would be persecuted, and often even killed, because of that witness. They would not be politically acceptable in Roman (or most other) societies due to their unbreakable loyalty to only one King: Jesus. A great part of their witness would be their unity, based on loyalty to Jesus and the indewlling of the Holy Spirit. He prays to the Father, saying, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.”
Those are very powerful words, and bear repeating: “As you have sent me into the world, so have I sent them into the world.” The disciples’ mission is Jesus’ mission.
Jesus sent them. – This is their mission. A task. An assignment.
Into the world. – To a place. A time. A people.
As the Father sent him. – Jesus’ task. Assigned. By his Father.
All of this was to bless all peoples of the earth in order to fulfil a promise God made to a man He called “Friend.”
And now, he calls all who repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and King, “Friend” (John 15:15-16; 17:20-23). One might call it a covenant of friendship intended to include the entire world. Would it not be wonderful if God were able to call every human being ever created, “Friend?”
I think that is certainly worth thinking about. And working for.