Summary: Ascension Sunday-Today is called “ascension” Sunday. Not long ago we celebrated Easter, and about forty days out from the Resurrection, we find in the Scriptures that Jesus left the Earth and ascended to Heaven in plain view of his disciples, who were eye
Don’t Just Stand There Lookin! Acts 1:6-14
(6) So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"
(7) He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
(8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
(9) And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
(10) And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
(11) and said, "Men of Galilee, 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."
(12) Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.
(13) And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
(14) All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Today is called “ascension” Sunday. Not long ago we celebrated Easter, and about forty days out from the Resurrection, we find in the Scriptures that Jesus left the Earth and ascended to Heaven in plain view of his disciples, who were eye-witnesses.
What do the words “finished” and “done” mean to you? Have you ever come to the end of perhaps a long and drawn out process or period of time where you had many tasks, many obstacles to overcome. Everything is wrapped up and it’s time to go home. It’s done, it’s over, you survived it and you can leave it and either forget it, or if you choose to think about it, know that you did everything you could and now you leave it in good hands.
Last night I woke up practically in a cold sweat thinking about things I need to do at work. I have a stack of paper on my desk that never gets depleted. I tell people who work for me that I don’t want to hear anyone say “I’m done “ because no one is done until we’re all done. And if we’re all done, then we’ll need to look for jobs!
I’m looking forward to one day being able to truly be “done” with my current job. I’ll be able to retire and walk out that door and know that the stack is as low as it can go and also that it’s now another person’s problem to solve. I can know that I ‘m truly done, yet I’ll immediately proceed to some other stack of issues that will never be done. It feels wonderful to wrap up a task, especially one that has been long and drawn out.
When Jesus died on the cross he uttered the words “It is finished. “ The words have great significance in that the work of redemption was completed, one hundred percent. He had accomplished what He came to do, the price had been paid. But there was still to come the Resurrection, and for some reason Jesus appeared to his Disciples and others for yet another forty days. He appeared bodily, in the flesh yet with a glorified body capable of what we consider supernatural movement.
The “tag” on Jesus’ work has been something of a mystery to me. Today, as we consider the Ascension of Christ I have some thoughts on this period of forty days that Jesus spent on earth past the Resurrection, along with the very act of his ascension to Heaven.
The Ascension means:
1) Jesus’ work on earth was finished
Jesus had accomplished everything he had come to do, to the letter. There was nothing more that He could accomplish. As a matter of fact, had he not ascended to the Father, it would have severely limited and thwarted the Gospel. Jesus took upon himself a flesh-and blood body. Following the Resurrection his body was glorified, yet it was not a spirit. He was limited to a dimensional existence and could only be in one place at one time.
His work was completed, yet he left in place an empowered, faith-driven people, His Church.
For forty days he taught his disciples and followers to walk by faith, and not by sight. Paul, one of his later followers said it this way: