Summary: The ascension of Jesus forcefully wrapped up his post-resurrection appearances to the disciples and many hundreds more. It made it glaringly obvious that Jesus came from God, is God, and was returning to God.
The Ascension - May 19, 2019 Sermon - Acts 1:1-11
[The 'memes' described below were found, and the link was active on May 17, 2019 here: https://www.boredpanda.com/famous-last-words/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic]
Last words. Do you ever wonder about the last words people speak? It’s interesting to note the last words of some important people from history.
Leonardo Da Vinci was a brilliant...However he was also an over-the-top perfectionist.
Meme: "i have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have"
Beethoven was one of history’s greatest composers.
Meme: "Applaud my friends. The comedy is finished"
Charlie Chaplain last words after a priest read him his rites, “May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”
Meme: Why not? After all it belongs to Him"
George Harrison, of the most famous band in the world, the Beatles, said this as his last words:
Meme: "Love one another"
Not sure if he knew he was quoting Scripture.
The brilliant composer Mozart said this in his final moment:
Meme: "The taste of death is upon my lips. I feel something that is not of this earth".
Humphrey Bogart had something else on his mind as he passed.
Meme: 'I shouuld never have switched from scoth to martinis".
Groucho Marx from the Marx Brothers, funny to the very end, said this:
Meme: Die, my dear? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!"
Henry Ward Beecher, a famous preacher in the 19th century said this:
Meme: "Now comes the mystery"
Last words matter. In some cases they reflect something, however small, about a person. In others cases, not so much.
But on rare occasions the final words of a person really do sum up their lives, even their purpose for living.
With Jesus we actually get 2 sets of last words. 2 sets of last words in the final 2 situations Jesus finds Himself in.
On the cross the last words of Jesus included:
? Forgiveness: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing. Luke 23:34. ...
? Hope: Today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43. ...
? Relationships in the Body of Christ: Behold your son: behold your mother. ...
? The Cost of our Sin/Bereftness: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? ...
? Humanity: I thirst. ...
? Completion: It is finished. ...
? Trust: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Then Jesus died. Dead. And was buried. Those could have been His last words. And they would have been pretty great, I think.
But then...unlike the rest of us, Jesus was raised to life. He was the firstborn among the dead.
And among His last words to His disciples were this:
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus says that all authority has been given to him. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. What does that mean?
That means that Jesus is Lord. That means that Jesus is the authority.
He is Lord of the church, He is Lord, period, to the glory of God the Father.
That means that God is the Son is the one to whom we owe our allegiance, our submission, our worship, really everything in our whole lives.
And so with that authority that was given to him by His Father, Jesus
So Jesus says “Go and make disciples of all nations“. He says what you are, make more of. Are you a disciple, a follower of Jesus? I’m asking.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, He says to you and to me: “Go and make disciples!”
You say you are followers of me. That’s awesome. Since you’re a follower of me, do what I did.
What did Jesus do? From heaven Jesus came to this planet to share of the life of God, the truth of God, the love of God, the gospel.
So he tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. Now he says that to the 11 disciples gathered. If you remember, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, shortly afterward killed himself in remorse.
So at this point in history, there were just the 11 disciples, who we also called the 11 “Apostles“.
They went from being disciples to apostles in their case, because they responded in obedience to Jesus command to go. And they went.