Summary: The Ascension of Jesus the Christ should be enough for all of us.
This coming Thursday is the Ascension of our Lord. In preparing for today’s message I realized in the time I have been here, I have always, always focused my efforts upon Mother’s Day and the Biblical text associated with this particular Sunday.
The reason probably lies with the fact the Ascension always falls 40 days after Easter, therefore it always fall on a Thursday. One may also notice that 40 shows up quite a bit in the Bible. You might ask why? I haven’t really read a great explanation, but you got to admit it not a bad number unless say you are turning 40. The logical reason 40 is used seems to be simply because it is enough.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights and God said, “It is enough!” The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years until God exclaimed, “That should do it!” Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 long days, and God said, “Enough!” Now 40 days following the empty tomb, Jesus makes his journey back to the heavens. I think 40 because once again God says, “Ok folks that should be enough!” So enough with the enoughs. Today I would like to focus my efforts on that one day, 40 days after Easter—The Ascension of Christ Jesus.
Don’t get me wrong Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate all that our Mother’s do or have done—in many ways it is the incarnation of God all over again—and trust me it should be celebrated on a daily basis—just as the incarnation or birth of our Lord should be celebrated—not once a year.
So today I would like to start out by wishing everybody a happy Mother’s Day and then move on to a spectacular event that puts the icing on the cake when it comes to the birth, life, the death, and the resurrection of one Jesus the Christ—and that is the ascension into heaven of our Lord and Savior.
Man, I would have loved to have witnessed Jesus rising up to the heavens. Sure it would have been nice to see the baby Jesus in a manger, but I really don’t think I would have understood a baby birth as a true miracle. Or to witness the miracles of Jesus—that too would be neat, but I may have tried my hardest to give reasons as to why, or maybe even thought it was staged—sort of like what one watches on TV. The cross? Well that would have been too sad and disgusting to watch. The empty tomb would most definitely raise a few eyebrows, but still only compound the questions.
But to actually see Jesus actually disappear into heaven—like I said—would be icing on the cake. That one event would have sealed the deal—that would have been enough! To see Jesus exchange a life persecution and suffering for one being worshipped by angels. To see Jesus exchange the cruelty of hanging on a cross to one of sitting on a throne. To see Jesus exchange the crown of thorns for a crown of Glory, man it don’t get any better than that! Everything is going to be honky dory from now on. I would probably think my life was going to be perfect!
I would probably spend the rest of my life just gazing up into the heavens, wishing, waiting, and watching for Jesus to return. Sort of like what the disciples must have felt. Cause they say, “Now Israel will be returned to the time of Glory—everything just going to fall in place. And they just stood there and gazed up into the heavens.”
Yet Jesus still has some wonderful words of truth and wisdom even as he completes long enough bodily mission and returns to the Father’s home.
I believe Jesus in his final moments is trying to get across to the disciples to us why in the world are you worried about living in the past, and worse yet why are you obsessed with the future? Isn’t it enough that the Word of God became Flesh and lived among you?
Isn’t it enough that Word become Flesh remains with you daily through the power of the Holy Spirit? Isn’t it enough that your past has been forgiven and your future secured? If so, then go today, today into the world and be my witnesses through your words and deeds? Can you handle it?
No! We want to know what Jesus is going to do about those stupid Roman taking advantage of us? Oh! We don’t have many Romans today. We want to know what Jesus is going to do about that evil gossiping neighbor, that awful boss, lazy husband, spending wife, rotten child, ridiculous illness? And so we stare up to heavens just waiting for Jesus to return and fix it all. We look to the future when all will be returned to the way we desire.