Summary: A sermon detailing the ascension of Jesus and its meaning to Christians
Easter Series Pt 4
“Annotations From The Ascension”
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
First: What happened prior to the ascension?
I. The Occupation of the Risen Lord
A. He commands His servants
What commandments did Jesus give “…unto the Apostles whom He had chosen…” We certainly don’t know everything that Jesus told His disciples; John 21:25 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen” but we do know some things. For instance He told them:
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
B. His confirms His resurrection v. 3a
One of the things that the Lord focused on in the 40 day period between his resurrection and His ascension is the unbelief of His family and friends. Amazingly enough, some of the events recorded in Scripture occurred after Jesus has showed Himself alive!
Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
John 21:3 is the most puzzling passage of all for we have a passage that indicates that after a visit to the tomb and after several others testimonies concerning the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, Peter and the other disciples “…go a fishing…!”
John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
There are no less than thirteen different appearances of Jesus to his disciples recorded and the purpose seems to have been more to convince His own disciples than those outside who were non-believers. Barnes
C. He completes His revelation v. 3b
Luke tells us that Jesus was speaking of the “…things pertaining to the Kingdom…” The disciple not only saw that it was Jesus, they also heard Him speak and recognized that Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom just like He had before His death and resurrection.
Second: What did Jesus have to say?
II. The Oaths of the Risen Lord
A. The promise of the Paraclete v. 4-5
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
B. The promise of Power v. 8
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
C. The promise of a Parousia v. 11
ILL - March 11, 1942. Corregidor, in the Philippines. I’m sure most of the WWII veterans in the congregation today can tell you what happened that day.
The Japanese forces were invading the Philippines, and on a day that marked the beginning of a dark chapter for the American and Filipino forces, General Douglas MacArthur prepared to leave, uttering what was to become probably his most famous statement: “I shall return.”
When he made the promise to return, many thought he was crazy. But his determination to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation would not be drowned by criticism and doubt.