The Apostles had gotten used to Jesus being with them; the crucifixion changed all that; and they were bereft, afraid and did not know what to do. They gathered, they wept, they mourned; and then Mary Magdalene came back from the tomb and said, “He is risen!” And, in time, Jesus was with them again, and they were ecstatic. Jesus loved them, taught them, reassured them during that time; and then, ascended into Heaven before their eyes, to be with God the Father.
Before this happened, and when the apostles had come together with him, they asked, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” They still looked at Jesus as the Messiah who would dispatch the Roman’s and allow the nation to become new again and vibrant, as it was under David, and the time of the kings. But Jesus answered them saying, “It is not for you to know the times or the period that the Father has set by his own authority.”
And then he added something none of them understood, or could imagine until the day it actually happened, He continued speaking and added, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem ... and to the ends of the Earth.
When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. Jesus had ascended to the father.
While they were looking up and watching, two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” And that promise is one we hold as truth to this day.
John’s Gospel also speaks of Jesus making a request of God the Father. He said, “So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory I had in your presence before the world existed. I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me and they have kept your word. ... for the words you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you.”
And so, Jesus had been their teacher and friend, and He had taught them and been with them for three years, until they knew and understood their mission and ministry. They watched His crucifixion, his resurrection, and his ascension; and they knew, and believed. Amen
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to email@example.com.