Up, Up & AwayNaima Lett | Blog | Thursday May 17 2012
DAILY DOSE OF HOPE – BLOG – NAIMA LETT
UP, UP & AWAY
Up, up & away!
Who comes to mind when we hear that phrase?
What about Christ, circa 33? :=)
Today is Ascension Day, Fam.
It’s the 40th day of Easter and the day believers all over the world celebrate Jesus going up, up and away!
What a sight that must’ve been!
Can you imagine?
One minute, He’s giving final instructions. The next, He’s floating into the sky – no wings, no plane – just Him, defying all matter of gravity.
In Luke’s account of the Acts of the Apostles, he records that Jesus is taken up before the disciples’ very eyes until a cloud hides him from their sight:
ACTS 1: 1-10
3 After his suffering, he (Jesus) presented himself to them (apostles) and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God… 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.” 9 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.”
WHERE’S THE KING?
What amazes me about the conversation that takes place before Jesus ascends is that His disciples are still asking if He will be the Messiah, the King, that many of them had hoped for – the One who would restore the kingdom of Israel!
Since He had conquered death, rose from the dead, and walked around on earth another 40 days after He arose, surely He could topple Rome, right? Who would be able to stand against Him? He couldn’t die… or stay dead, rather!
Think about it. He’s the perfect warrior. Even Superman could catch a case of kryptonite and expire.
But Jesus?! They all witnessed Him die on a cross and come back alive. He showed them the scars on His hands from the nails and His side from the piercing, and proved to them that it was indeed Him. Certainly, He could restore Israel to its rightful place, right?!
But what is Jesus’ response to His disciples?
He basically says it’s not for them to know the times or dates of their restoration. They’ve got to focus on what’s at hand. They will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to be His witnesses. I love it.
Jesus says, “You’re focused on the wrong thing! Re-focus! Your next task is to be my witnesses to the ends of the earth!”
Before we judge the disciples, don’t we do the same thing?
Anybody ever asked the Lord, “When are you going to take over this wreck of a world?”
“When are You going to restore your people to their rightful place?”
“When are You going to get the bad guys and reward the good guys?”
“Why do those who are corrupt in government get away with so much?”
“Why did the powers that be get away with tumbling our entire economy into a down spin?”
“When are You going to take control and bring order?”
And how many times has the Lord said to us, “You’re focused on the wrong thing! Re-focus!”
“You’re gig is to be my witness to the ends of the earth!”
People’s last words are considered most important.
Steve Job’s sister Mona revealed his last words last year were, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow…”, and the news outlets carried the story for a week.
Famous entrepreneur and circus founder P.T. Barnum reportedly asked at his end, 1891, “How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”
Jesus’ last words before flying up were a reiteration of their commission, our commission, which is go be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.
That’s probably pretty significant.
UP, UP & AWAY
Then, he ascended.
And 2 angels appeared and said that the same way He ascended, He will return.
What difference does Jesus’ ascension make in 2012?
It gives us hope and assurance that He is who He says He is and that He will return as He says He will. We have hope that as we believe in Him, we too, will be raised from death and spend eternity in that perfect place with Him, free of all things bad.
One day, we all get to go up, up and away.
This ain’t it… meaning this current world… this is temporary.
The one thing that we are all promised is that we will leave this place.
I’m so glad Jesus showed us the way and sacrificed His all so that we can go up, up and away with Him.
No cape necessary.
But if I had one, it’d be fuchsia and black and dance in the wind,
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