What Does the Ascension of Jesus Teach Us?

What Does the Ascension of Jesus Teach Us?

Ascension of Christ

Today it’s been 40 days since Easter. Something very important happened on this day. Something worth of celebrating. Something that establishes Jesus as Lord of all. Something that affirms our identity and place in God’s plans.

As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going away and as they were staring toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood next to them. They said, “Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven.”Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a sabbath day’s journey away. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a sabbath day’s journey away.When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’ son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son— all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. (Acts 1:6-14, CEB, emphasis added)

Jesus assured us that his ascension is part of the big plan. It’s not going to be the end but a beginning of the next stage of God’s plan. There are things for God yet to do. Jesus had to go away in order to be able to come back again. And Jesus will come back again as certainly and mysteriously as he left.

But Jesus did not leave us alone in the world. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to empower us to be his witnesses all over the world. Meanwhile, the disciples needed to wait. This passage teaches us some important aspects of waiting.

First of all, waiting is not passive or done alone. They were united in their devotion to prayer. While waiting, they affirmed their willingness to do their part in God’s plans. They learned to be attentive to God’s wild grace. They were expectant, getting ready to do things God’s way. Without this waiting period (10 days) they’d not be ready for the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

What can we learn from this?
That the heart of being a disciple is being attentive to God.
That waiting is as much part of the big picture as doing things God’s way.
That praying without ceasing is the way of life for followers of Christ.
That communing with God is more important than any busy work we can do.
That God has a beautiful plan for the whole world and each of us.

We can rest in God’s grace.
We can trust that He knows best.
We can expectantly wait for Jesus’ coming back.
In God’s time. In God’s way. In God’s style.
Meanwhile, we can boldly bear witness for him.
In God’s time. In God’s way. In God’s style.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for being beyond our imagination.
Thank you for having a perfect plan for the whole wide world.
Thank you for having a perfect plan for each of us.
Enable us to wait in grace.
Empower us to live in grace.
Equip us to witness in grace.
Come, Lord Jesus!
We expectantly wait for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What does the ascension of Jesus mean to you? How do you apply it into your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live, move, wait, and work in grace!

Image, Ascension of Christ by Garofalo 1520, courtesy of Wikimedia. Linking up today withThought-Provoking Thursdays.

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