The day of Christ’s Ascension has arrived. Jesus appeared many times to His followers in groups and to individuals before He returned to heaven. His return is recorded in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and Acts 1:4-11. It was 40 days after His resurrection and they were gathered on the Mt of Olives. He gave them words that have become known as the Great Commission and told them not to leave Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came. They would wait 9 more days for the Holy Spirit’s arrival on a day we know as Pentecost.
Jesus’ final words were commands to them and to us. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. An surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee’, they said, ‘why do you stand there looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem.” Acts1:9-12a
I have often wondered what it would have been like to stand and watch Jesus go up into heaven and to have heard his last words of command. I would have felt a real since of loss and aloneness as Jesus was leaving. He had promised to send His Spirit to help and comfort them. Jesus promised to be with them always and then to return. The thing is, I do hear His words in my head every time I read them in Matthew. I don’t feel the aloneness his followers felt that day as His Holy Spirit lives inside me. Jesus is with me 24/7. Nine days after His ascension into heaven Jesus sent the Holy Spirit just as He promised. The Holy Spirit lives within the believer and gives us His power to follow His commands and live obediently for Him. Jesus keeps His promises so I know He will return just as He said.
Just as the angels questioned the disciples, are you stuck where you are in your walk with Christ? He wants us up, moving, witnessing, teaching, telling others about who He is and that He will return. Step out in faith today trusting Jesus for the words and actions that tell others about Him. That will take all the stickiness out of your walk with Him and get you moving. Who can you tell today? It is good news for a lost and dying world. Jesus Saves!