6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: How do we spend our time, staring out hoping or moving forward and doing?

I remember several years ago rearranging my schedule to watch Tiger Woods in his attempt to win the Masters. I hurried home from the office at 3 for the afternoon coverage, turned on the television, and snow. We had paid the cable bill, so I knew that wasn’t the problem. So I called the cable company to report the problem and they said a cable repairman had just left and would be there soon, the whole community was out of service. The problem was, the repairman was coming from Spokane, it would be an hour and a half drive just to get to their cable system. Needless to say, I missed the first round coverage.

Life is like that at times. We don’t always get to see what we want to see. That is what was happening in Acts 1:9-11. Here are the disciples, they had just finished a conversation with Jesus, and now He has ascended before their eyes into heaven, well, He had begun the ascent then a cloud hid Him from their sight. They did not have the experience of Stephen we will talk about later in Acts. So there they stood, starring off into the sky, hoping they could see more, perhaps a final glimpse, possibly the cloud would roll away, who knows. Now, I am not saying I starred at the snow on the television hoping to see a glimpse of Tiger Woods, but how often have you or I gazed at something, starring, expecting to see something more when nothing more can be seen?

Lets gather some thoughts from Acts.

I. Jesus is alive and we are to live our lives with this fact in mind.

Luke gives an explanation of this with a single Greek word, eperthe which means “He was taken up.” We are told very little about the ascension except it happened after Jesus gave the disciples the mandate to witness, and that it took place on the Mount of Olives.

On November 28, 1942, there was a fire at the Coconut Grove Nightclub in Boston. Almost 500 people lost their lives in the fire, and many of the victims were taken to a nearby hospital that was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of casualties, as you might imagine. One of the survivors told of what happened when he arrived in the emergency room. After having been there a while, a doctor looked at him and pronounced, “He’s dead. Cover him up.” At this point, the now pronounced dead victim responded, “I’m not dead!” His remarked surprised the doctor and the nurse who was preparing the pull the sheet over his head because they thought he was dead but his words convinced them otherwise at which point they began to treat his wounds and he did recover from his injuries.

I bring this out because a good number of people have pronounced God as dead. Nietzsche, a German philosopher said it, “God is dead.” And there are others like Nietzche, people who say the resurrection never happened, people who don’t believe Jesus rose from the grave or ascended into heaven. There are those who do not believe Jesus has the power or ability to help us in our world today.

The Book of Acts tells a very different story. Jesus is alive. Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father, in heaven, making requests on our behalf. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He is communicating His life to and through us. We should never forget this truth. At times when it seems like everything has come against you, if you are following Jesus as your Lord and Savior, remember, just you and He make a majority, and change is just around the corner for you. Walk with Jesus, depend on Him, praise Him, and glorify Him in everything you say and do.

A. Jesus entered Heaven, the conquering King.

Jesus coming to earth was the greatest even in the history of redemption. Remember His entry recorded in Luke 2:14 where it says the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds saying, “Glory to God in the highest.” Now we read in Philippians 2:8 Jesus place after His ascension back to heaven, And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by being obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus returned to heaven the conquering King. Imagine what a celebration which took at His homecoming. Can you imagine the Father’s joy and His delight at Jesus ascension? Can you just picture the scene in your mind, the angels breaking loose in adoration and praise when Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father.

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