Mal. 3: 2-3
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
The Lord is a refiner. He allows people to experience trials in order to sanctify and purify them, to make them strong, compassionate, and clean. Surely the crucifixion of the Savior acted as a refiner’s fire to his disciples.
Knowing that His time was at hand, Jesus Christ spent his last night before his imprisonment with his apostles. He knew the fear and terror His
disciples were about to face, so
He promised to send them a comforter.
John 14:26, 16-18
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
The fullness of that comfort did not come until they were baptized with fire and the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The refinement that came from the horrible experience of the crucifixion acted to consecrate the apostles for their pending calls to take the gospel into all the world. The baptism of the Spirit felt on the day of Pentecost completed that purification, and gave them all the strength, power, and comfort necessary to become powerful vessels of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly was a baptism of fire, and it changed them forever.
One lesson we can learn from this is that when endured properly and well, the Refiner’s fire can become the Comforter’s fire.