Preserved in Jesus Christ – Day 12
Going Home – Part I
Ascension Day is the day Christians everywhere commemorate the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven. His mission was complete. He was going home.
Thirty-three years before his death, he left his throne on the right hand side of God, humbled himself and came down to earth in human form. He knew that he needed to lay down his life if humankind were to have any hope of being reconciled to God.
Here on earth, the mental turmoil and physical abuse our Lord Jesus endured, from those he had come to save, cannot be worded. He suffered indignities, injustices, harsh punishments, savage floggings and ultimately, the agony of dying on a cross in excruciating pain.
Now, on that first Ascension Day, 40 days after his resurrection, he was going home.
He had spent the time with his disciples, convincing them by his presence that he had indeed conquered death and spoke to them about the kingdom of God.
He gave them his parting instructions: Do not leave Jerusalem. Wait for the gift my Father has promised. That gift was that they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit. They did not understand what this meant. They asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6
Living under the yoke of the Romans occupation, the disciples could not think beyond Israel ceasing to be a subject state. They did not understand what the kingdom of God entailed.
Therefore, Jesus tells them, “It is not for you to know the Father’s timetable that is his business and his business alone.” Then, Jesus shares with them our verse for the day (Acts 1:8) above.
Jesus was saying, “I cannot tell you when I am coming back. However, this is what you must do. You must become my witnesses and take my message to the uttermost parts of the earth and the Holy Spirit will empower you to do so.”
Afterwards, he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight.