Who's the Boss?
Christ’s Ascension; Acts 1.9-11
Acts 1.9-11 reads-
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Today we looked at a heart stirring issue; Christ’s ascension! This truth refers to the fact that 40 days after he had risen from the dead, and given the remaining 11 disciples (Judas was dead at this point) some teaching on what kind of kingdom he was establishing, Christ returned to Heaven.
This movement back to Heaven was the crowning proof that Jesus’ death on the Cross, to save everyone who would believe, had been fully accepted by God the Father. As far as Jesus was concerned it was ‘mission accomplished’ with the way to Heaven now wide open to all who would turn from living for themselves and turn to Jesus in faith.
Something that we must not miss is the way that Jesus returned to Heaven; ‘He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight’ . For anybody who has spent time reading the Old Testament, this tells us something remarkable about Jesus. In the Old Testament the only person who is ever spoken of as riding ‘on a cloud’ is God. Thus, what we are reading in Acts 1 is Luke’s way of telling us that Jesus is nobody less than the eternal Son of God!
I think that it is also important to understand that Jesus’ exit out of this world wasn’t just a case of Jesus going home. Something much more significant is happening here. Jesus’ ascension is Jesus’ enthronement. Mark finishes his Gospel with these words ‘So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs’.
It was in the light of these facts that Jesus stated in Matthew’s Gospel “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
What a wonderful Gospel truth this is that, not only do we not worship a dead Saviour but, we worship One that has all authority in Heaven and on earth! And, as the angels told the disciples- “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” It is this reality which gives Christians hope and joy even in their toughest days. No matter how hard things may sometimes appear we have a glorious Saviour reigning from Heaven who will work out all things for the best and then one day come back in person to finally wrap things up!
Are you ready for that day?