Tuesday, May 3, 2016

EmmDev: The Ascension Matters

Apologies for the gap in devotions, with all the public holidays it has been a topsy turvy time and I also took some leave... Hope you enjoy this new series.
God bless,

Understanding the Ascension of Jesus

The Ascension matters

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "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."      (Acts1:9-11)
When we talk about Ascension Day, the first thing people say is: "What a pity it isn't a public holiday any more..." But, if pushed, I wonder how many of us would know why the Ascension of Jesus is important to us?

Over the next couple of days I'd like to share seven ideas around the importance of the Ascension. My hope is that our appreciation for the Biblical and theological significance of this event will increase and that we would be filled with awe and wonder and appreciation.

Just to whet your appetite, here are the seven thoughts that I'll be dwelling on:

  1. Jesus has completed His Priestly Ministry: He sits at God's right hand.
  2. He has taken our humanity into heaven.
  3. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit
  4. He entrusts His work (making disciples) to us.
  5. Jesus intercedes in prayer for us.
  6. He prepares a place for us.
  7. He will return and will judge the living and the dead.

For now though, I'd like you to put yourself in the shoes of the disciples. Jesus has risen from the dead. He has spent intimate time with the disciples for 40 days. (During those 40 days significant conversations, like the one with Peter on the beach in John 21, took place.)

Jesus must have felt that the disciples were ready.
I wonder if they felt the same.
But just before He departed Jesus gave them a command and a very special promise:
"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit... 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

As we journey through the importance of the Ascension, let's also bear in mind that the Ascension is "pregnant" with the promise of the Holy Spirit. Let's enter this journey with the same anticipation.

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