7752 - Ascension


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The apostles of Jesus witnessed a great deal during their walk with Jesus, but the real measure of their obedience came after He departed.

This message brings us to the end of our study of the gospel of Luke. We pray you have been blessed as you have traveled through this record of the life of Christ with us.

Today let’s initially look at Luke 24:50-53, although we will look at other verses also.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.

Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

When Jesus had completed the prompting and preparation of the disciples he led them out of Jerusalem, across the Kidron valley, to the vicinity of the village of Bethany. Bethany is only a couple of miles up on the slope of the Mount of Olives.

Within the disciples there was certainly some joy over the new era in which they were involved. Likely there was a degree of uncertainty about what would happen next.

Jesus stopped, faced the group, lifted his hands and blessed them. Lo and behold, he began to rise into the air as he continued to bless them. He was taken up into heaven; and Acts tells us, as they were watching him a cloud hid him from their sight. They surely were startled and impressed by such a display.

To top this off, as they were intently looking into the sky, suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. They spoke: “Men of Galilee, 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.”

What do we do now? Their minds flashed back to his words, “tarry in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

For extended moments they were captivated by this awesome scene, and they worshipped him. As they returned to Jerusalem there was great joy within them. Hope and anticipation flourished among them.

Undoubtedly they wondered a bit about this power, which was promised to come upon them through the Holy Spirit. That had never been a permanent reality in past history. It was true that the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit, had come upon certain people for special purposes in past history, but this would be something new to have the Holy Spirit take up permanent residence within each believer. We know because of the Biblical record, that Pentecost came fifty days after Passover, so that would be perhaps seven days later.

Mark’s closing message tells us that Jesus was taken into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. He returned to the glory of heaven where he had been previously. He plugged back into his eternal glory, which had been his from before the world began.

It seems fitting that we review 1 Timothy 3:16 as we end this study about the life of Christ. We read:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

The scope of heaven and earth is covered in this verse. God was manifested in the flesh under the name of Jesus. All of the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him.

The resurrection demonstrated the vindication of Jesus by the Holy Spirit to be the true Messiah Savior.

The angels were elated to observe and participate in the unfolding birth, life, death and ascension of Jesus — the atoning sacrifice for sin. This plan had been formulated in heaven before the creation of the world, and now has been fulfilled.

“Preached unto the Gentiles’ – These words focus upon the truth that all of mankind is included in God’s invitation for reconciliation through Jesus.

And “believed on in the world” spotlights the truth that salvation by faith had reaped a harvest, and many others have believed since then.

Then Jesus was received into glory to sit at the right hand of the Father and to reign under the Father’s authority.

Praise God for his wonderful plan.