Having instructed His disciples to “stay … in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven, “Jesus led them out to the Mount of Olives, towards Bethany. With His hands lifted, He blessed them, and then “He left them and was taken up into heaven” (see Luke 24:49-51).
With a cloud surrounding Him and His followers straining to still see Him, “two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee, they said, why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (see Acts 1:8-11).
It is difficult for us to imagine the excitement of that moment when earth and heaven connected so dramatically. Few on earth were watching, but all in heaven were waiting expectantly!
On earth, just a handful of Galileans watched in awe as Jesus ascended. Two heavenly beings arrived, confirming that the post-resurrection appearances of the last 40 days were now over-but for a few exceptional occurrences. He had been “taken up…they could no longer see him” (Acts 1:9). They were to no longer gaze into the heavens but were to wait for the Spirit to empower them, for they had work to do on earth.
Luke’s record is fascinating: “So they worshipped Jesus and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy” (Luke 24:52). The heavenly beings had promised, “Someday He will return” (Acts 1:11), but why when He had just departed, did they return to the city “filled with great joy” (Luke 24:52)? Why were they so delighted? Why did they then spend “all their time in the Temple praising God” (Luke 24:53)? Was the significance of what was happening finally dawning on them?
Try to imagine what was happening to Jesus at the very time they were worshipping in the temple courts. Entering the heavens, He-the Son of Man-“approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence” (Daniel 7:13, NIV). The apostle John writes that all heaven was filled with worship and praise: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty-the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come” (Revelation 4:8). Imagine the excitement as Jesus the Creator was welcomed home to reign “in the centre of the throne” (Revelation 5:6, NIV). The heavenly beings erupted into a new song:
You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth (Revelation 5:9,10).
The universe had witnessed Jesus’ righteous life and horrendous death, and He was “worthy” to open the seven-sealed scroll-God’s last will and testament. His slaughter was like a ransom payment, setting all sinners free from slavery to sin and death, and giving them a part in God’s new kingdom. On earth, His followers were to share this good news of “forgiveness of sins for all who repent,” but first they must wait for the Holy Spirit to fill them “with power from heaven”(Luke 24:47, 49).
- What is the significance of Christ’s Ascension and impending Return for me?
- What is the Lord saying to me about my part to see ransomed people from every tribe and language becoming a Kingdom of priests for our God?
This Pentecost season join other Christ followers to give God’s Word to those who do not have the Good News in their language.
Thank you for giving the Living Word to the Bibleless.
GIVE GOD'S WORD TO THE BIBLELESS
To Be Continued...
On earth, just a handful of Galileans watched in awe as Jesus ascended. Two heavenly beings arrived, confirming that the post-resurrection appearances of the last 40 days were now over-but for a few exceptional occurrences.