Summary: What did the angels mean when they asked the disciples "Why do you stand here looking into the sky?" Were they rebuking them for wanting to see Jesus when He came back? Or was there something deeper that they (and we) need to hear?
It seems Moody Bible Institute supports a home for mentally handicapped children. One day the President of Moody (Joseph Stowell) went there for a visit. While walking through the corridors, he noticed that the windows were covered with tiny little hand prints. He asked the director, what that was all about.
The director replied, "The children here love Jesus and they’re so eager for Him to return that they lean against the windows as they look up to the sky."
(David Daniels, sermoncentral.com)
APPLY: Those handicapped children were looking for Jesus to return. They loved Him so much and were so eager to see Him come that they literally watched the skies for His return.
And that’s pretty much what the Disciples were doing here in our story this morning. It’s not so much that they were watching for His return… they didn’t want to leave in the 1st place.
As I was reading this passage in Acts 1 it struck me that some might get the impression that we shouldn’t be eager for Christ’s return. After all, the angels said to the disciples:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here 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.” Acts 1:11
It almost like the angels were telling the disciples that they shouldn’t be like those kids with their handprints on the windows. When the angels declared “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” it’s almost as if they were saying… don’t get too wrapped up in Jesus’ coming back
But that’s not what it’s saying. In II Peter 3:9-14 Peter (who was there that day) wrote this:
“…the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Peter is telling us – it’s a GOOD thing to be looking forward to Christ’s return.
In fact Jesus’ 2nd coming is going to be a GREAT thing for us.
1 Corinthians 2:9 declares "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"
Oh? What is that God has “prepared” for us who love Him?
Well, for one thing, in Revelation we’re told that when Jesus comes again: there will be “…a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’