Today is the celebration of the ascension of Jesus to Heaven about 1986 years ago. As we know Jesus died because of crucifixion, was laid in a tomb, rose from death on the third day, spent 40 days walking of earth talking and teaching his disciples of what was coming. Then He ascended to Heaven. The bible says in Acts 1:9 – 11 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
So Jesus was standing there and He started to rise up off the ground. How incredible is that! I can just imagine all the gaping mouths. I would certainly have been shocked if I was there. I think they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The disciples knew from what Jesus had told them that He would be going to heaven and they hoped that He would be restoring Israel as a country. At that time Rome was governing Israel and the Jews had believed that the Messiah would come as a military hero to restore Israel which obviously didn’t happen. Now the disciples still held onto the hope that He would be making this happen.
Acts 1: 6 – 8 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus was telling them that it was more important for them to listen to Him and follow His instructions than to be worrying about when Israel would be restored. There are times that have been ordained for everything to take place and those times are not for us to know, or to get anxious about. We need to be following what Jesus said and not be following our own agendas.
The promise He did make that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on the believers and that we would receive power. The other promise that the angel made when Jesus had gone to heaven was that He would return in the same what that He left.
We have so many promises that we can hold onto. We have the whole Bible which is full of promises but we often forget all about it and complain bitterly about how unfair life is and how disadvantaged we are and how difficult everything is. We put personal feelings and culture and all our other idols before the word of God and then we complain that we aren’t being blessed. I just wonder how God must feel when His heart is so full of love for each one of us, that He made uniquely and with purpose, when we forget all about Him and clutch at all kinds of straws when we are in trouble. If we put ourselves in God’s place and if our children were to treat us like we treat God, how would we react? But God says in Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
We forget that God is so big and people are so small. Let us remember this day that Jesus went to Heaven and left for us power and promises and let us rejoice about it. But we shouldn’t just do it once a year, we should remember it every single day.
Revelation 7:12 “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.