“Why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Easter is a 50 Day season. On the 40th Day of Easter the Church celebrates the Ascension of Jesus Christ.
It seems a bit odd to celebrate someone’s leaving.
But we’re not really celebrating the absence of Christ, rather we are remembering that we have something to do “in the meantime.”
Jesus spent three Passovers with his disciples. During that time – about three years – he taught, prayed, healed, ate, slept, taught and prayed some more.
Then, at the third and last Passover, Jesus allowed himself to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. Enemies, by the way, that he never stopped loving and praying for!
He willingly bore all the sins of all people of all time. From the first sin of Adam and Eve to the last sin committed by the last person born (whoever and whenever that will be).
He was crucified on a Roman cross. Endured incredible, unfathomable physical pain.
But Jesus also endured something far worse. He was forsaken by God. He was damned by God on that cross. A damnation that you and I deserve because of our sin.
Jesus died on that cross. But that wasn’t the end. That was the beginning!
He descended into hell “and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water (1 Peter 3).
On the first day of the week, three days after his death, Jesus was raised from the dead for our justification!
He spent an additional 40 days with his disciples and then, on a Thursday, ascended to the right hand of the Father.
So, now what? That may have crossed the disciples’ minds as they stood there gaping into an empty sky.
Now what do we do?
Jesus is going to come back. That’s the last promise of God to be fulfilled. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.
Jesus said to his disciples – to his Church – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The word is “go.” Go live the life Jesus died to give us. Go live in the world. Don’t give in to the world, but go live in it and as you are going make disciples! You don’t get to pick and choose who you will baptize and teach – Jesus says go to “all nations.”
And go you will.
Jesus has ascended. Jesus is coming back.
In the meantime, you and I will go and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by loving God and loving our neighbors.
In the meantime, go and love and share.
©2017 True Men Ministries