And thus endeth the story. On this Ascension day we believe Jesus rose up to “heaven”. Christ risen and Christ glorified!! The gospel story concludes with this grand finale. But is it really the end of the story? No! Jesus left the disciples with two great promises. First, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come upon them in great power. This power would lead them to preach the good news to all nations. Second, He told them, “I will be back.”
From the time of the ascension to now and on into the future, the followers of Jesus are to work on the first promise until the second comes to be. It could be tomorrow that Jesus returns. It could be a long time from now. No one knows except the Father. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work fully in us, it is easy to share the good news of repentance and forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.Without the Holy Spirit, trying to do it on our own, it is hard to share the message of Jesus Christ.
The Ascension represents Jesus returning to the Father in heaven, wherever that may be. Conceptually this places Jesus right next to God. In this thought is the idea that Jesus is supreme. He is above all. Above my life, my desires, my priorities. He is Lord of ALL.
How is that lived out? My focus must be on sharing my story of Jesus with those who do not know Him. In my community that is a large task. This is OK. I do not labor alone. The Spirit goes with me and there are many coworkers as well. May our mighty God provide the opportunities this day!
Scripture references: Luke 24: 44-53 and Acts 1: 6-9