Thursday, 21 May 2020

Ascension Day

Scripture:  Acts 1 v 9 - 11:

"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."

What an amazing sight for people 2000 years ago to witness!  Firstly, they had known this miracle Person as a close friend and teacher, who had lived among them, for 3 years.  They had seen Him heal lepers; open blind eyes and deaf ears;  and raise the dead before He was crucified.  Then He was resurrected from the dead.

Not only did they see, touch, dine with and  watch Him walk through walls, but when He was resurrected, all the old prophets and men of renown like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Moses, David etc appeared too, walking around Jerusalem and probably telling everyone who they were. Matthew 27 v 50 - 54.  They could only look on all these things with utter amazement.  Only the Son of God could do all this.

Jesus did a quick ascent that day too, to lead captivity captive and deliver them to His Father.  
Ephesians 4 v 8 - 10: "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 
9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)"

He told Mary in the garden, who was the first to see Him in His resurrected body, not to touch Him as He had not yet ascended to His Father.  John 20 v 15 - 17: "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16  Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17  Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

Before He left Earth 2000 years ago, or 2 days in God's timetable of 1 day equals 1000 years, Jesus had some powerful words to say to His disciples.  It was now forty days since His resurrection, and they listened as He said that they must wait in Jerusalem until the gift of our Father, the Holy Spirit, would come upon them and empower them to tell the whole world about Him.

Now His followers watched Him ascend into heaven and two men in white, people they did not recognize, were telling them Jesus Christ will return the same way.  He had told them the things that would be occurring on Earth when His return was near.

There would be famine, plagues, severe storms, many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, great troubles on Earth as Satan tries to destroy this planet before He gets back.  It's already polluted to beyond human help.  Billions are being spent on saving certain species in danger of dying out, suddenly, with Covid-19, that species is us.

For months we have been in lockdown, everything in our world has changed.  Everyone must be masked.  Sports may resume to empty stadiums.  In our lifetime we have never encountered such a shocking, sudden change.  Economies are shattered, jobs are lost, planes are grounded, trains are empty, streets are silent.  We watch the number of infections and deaths rise daily.  And they say its here to stay.  

The vulnerable elderly are totally isolated, many are starving as no jobs means no food.  Many are called to help distribute food.  Jesus said this would happen when His return was near.  There is no doubt in my mind that it is not far off but we do not know the day nor the hour, only the season.  That's not Spring or Summer but a season of time called Great Tribulation.

So rejoice today as we remember His glorious ascension and all that has been achieved for His Kingdom since He left.  Our Lord is on His way back to rescue us before all Hell breaks loose on this planet.

When Armageddon finally ends it those who are born again Christians will remain here with Jesus and all the saints that died will be alive again with us.  We will reign with Him for 1000 years, the 7th Millennium while He restores this Earth to its former beautiful, clean state.

There will be no sin, sickness or death. There will be no war, rape, hatred, murder, fear, lack, religions, corruption, sleaze, slavery, kidnapping, worry or sorrow.  But only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will live here.  Everyone else will be getting ready for the Day of Judgment.  The time to finalise your choice is now.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, it was a glorious day for You when Jesus returned to Heaven after such a long absence while He was about Your business.  That was our salvation He was busy with.  Many sceptics mock that He will never return, but Jesus has never lied, and now everything is ready for the day of the Lord.  We rejoice as we look forward with great expectation of His coming and pray earnestly for all to know Him before that day.  In Jesus' name. Amen.