WHY DO YOU STAND HERE LOOKING INTO THE SKY? Like the disciples gazing into the sky after Jesus' ascension into heaven, we Christians can spend most of our lives consumed with the world around us, even though we claim to be spiritual. Counting forward 40 days from His resurrection on the 16th day of God's 1st month, April 22 on our 2019 calendar, would appoint June 1 as the anniversary of Jesus' ascension into heaven.
Even the phenomenal events during those 40 days seem to get lost in the shuffle of 21st century Christianity. But if the disciples were here today, they would surely tell us all that these were the most precious days of their entire lives. We NEED this timely lesson from the Almighty to remind us that just as the disciples treasured these days, so should we.
Indeed, God's Word records the Resurrected Son of God sharing, worshipping, and performing miracles to as many as 500 of His disciples in Jerusalem and the Galilee during 11 separate occasions.
His more intimate encounters include the description of "Doubting Thomas" as he put his finger into the nail hole on Jesus hand. Still incredulous, he put his entire hand into the wound in the side of His Lord. "Then He (Jesus) said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put in into my side. Stop doubling and believe.'" John 20:27.
Jesus even tucked a special message to us today when He said this to Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
And who can forget the poignant pictures of John 21 of the miraculous catch of fish Jesus gave several of the disciples after they had fished all night and netted nothing. Jesus himself even stayed around to make breakfast for the disciples. Then He gave Peter, the disciple who had denied Him three times, the opportunity to say that He loved Jesus-three times!
The "disciple whom Jesus loved", closed the book of John with this astute observation of Jesus' incredible 40 days: "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25
This second month on God's calendar is the divinely appointed time for Jesus to appear to His disciples following His resurrection. It is also the month just before the Pentecost fulfillment of His incredible promise that He would not leave us alone as orphans, but would send us “…another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17.
The book of Acts records the last words of Jesus, spoken from the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives at Bethany. "’...you shall 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.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘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.’” Acts 1:8-10.
Indeed, why do we stand here looking into the vast expanse of this world and its manmade traditions! Can we not see exactly what has happened, as it was appointed 3500 years ago in Leviticus 23? The Jewish babe born in Bethlehem as foretold by the prophets, was condemned to die on the Holy day of Passover by the same religious folk who claimed to serve the Almighty God of the Universe. The appointed and anointed Lamb of God conquered death, rose from the grave, and became the Holy and acceptable Firstfruit offering for the entire timeline of mankind, guaranteeing our future resurrection. And this same Jesus ascended to heaven as a physical man bearing the bodily scars of His death as proof of His resurrection!
John 14:26 also says He has gifted us with the powerful presence of an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom He promised “…will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
And that is exactly what is happening at this very moment.
WHY DO YOU STAND HERE LOOKING INTO THE SKY?