Tag: gift of the Father
Scripture reading for May 6th: Acts 1
Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts. His Gospel ends with Jesus meeting the apostles after His resurrection and opening their minds to the Scriptures. “He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what My Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:46-49) Jesus gave specific instructions and direction to His followers. He also promised empowerment to do the job.
Jesus left them at Bethany; “. . .he lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-51) Luke begins the Book of Acts with these two accounts. He emphasized the instruction to wait for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 1:4-8) and Jesus’ ascension to heaven in a cloud of glory. (Acts 1:9-11)
Jesus was taken up into heaven right after He emphasized their need to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to be His witnesses. “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 1:9-11) Jesus left in a cloud of glory and will return!
As we rest today and reflect on the reading of the past week, we can’t help but remember what a special day this is! This day is a day that has forever changed history in a number of ways! First, the calendar went from “BC” to “AD” marking a turning point for all mankind. Secondly, Jesus Christ so loved us and all of mankind made in God’s image, that He willingly gave his life for us. He took our sins in His own body on the cross and became a curse for us in order to remove from us the curse of sin (Galatians 3:13-14) and it’s resulting penalty, death. (Revelation 1:17-18) His last words, “it is finished”, (John 19:30) marked the end of all that was necessary for us to have the gift of the Father, the Holy Spirit. (John 14:25-26) The Holy Spirit marks us with an invisible mark telling the Father that we are now His. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Christ was buried in a tomb and it was sealed over and guarded by tough Roman soldiers. (Matthew 27:65-66) Early in the morning on the first day of the week, however, the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty! The women coming to embalm the body heard the glorious and puzzling angelic announcement: “He’s not here; he has risen just as he said. Come see the place where he lay. Go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you to Galilee. There you will see him. Now I have told you.” (Matthew 28:6-7) Jesus was alive and showed himself to those who were close to him. Eyewitnesses touched, handled, and examined his resurrected body. Over 500 saw him at one time. (1st Corinthians 15:3-6)
Jesus is alive today! He is seated at God the Father’s right hand. He is waiting for all his enemies to be made a footstool for his feet. (Hebrews 10:12-13) He is waiting for the command of the Father to come back again for those who are His! All who are ready and watching for His return will be taken to be with Him forever! (Matthew 24:42-44) Those who have died in faith will rise first and we who remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we will always be with the Lord! Comfort one another with these words! (1st Thessalonians 4:11-18) Now that will be a “resurrection day” for us all to prepare for! Jesus is alive and coming soon!
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen, Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20