The Ascension of Christ –What Does It Mean?

Acts 1.8 - Map FaceJesus is alive! He appeared to over 500 people in the 40 days following His resurrection. Jesus has conquered death and reigns in Heaven today.This truth is the Gospel.

Luke ends his gospel with the Ascension of Jesus (Luke 25:50-53) and begins Acts with the same story but with more details (Acts 1:1-11)  These bookmarks are essential in letting the world know that Jesus has returned to heaven and we await His return.

Going into more detail, which we will in our Sunday Morning Bible Study, Luke uses words like “alive, proofs and appearing”. These words are strong as they are precise in their meaning in the original Greek. Jesus was clearly seen by people. There was no doubt that Jesus was alive. Luke also points out that Jesus continued His teachings about the Kingdom of God and shared that the Holy Spirit would be coming.

Acts 1:8 is often cited as a method for evangelizing. Jesus said the power of the Holy Spirit will enable His followers to share about the Kingdom in the places where they lived, Jerusalem, and they places where they traveled–Judea, Samaria, and the world. Looking at the intent of the passage one could conclude that Jesus was not as much giving sequential location directions but was saying that the Gospel is unlimited and should not be restricted by boundaries, language, ethnicity, governments etc.

I think we often miss the point of Acts 1:8 too as we focus on the geography. Perhaps we should instead focus on the Holy Spirit as the source of our speech, strength and strategy for telling our city, state and world that Jesus is alive and has ascended into Heaven.

Things to Ponder:

Did you know you can outline the book of Acts and the spread of the Gospel in this way? Acts 1-7 Jerusalem; Acts 8-12 Judea & Samaria; Acts 13-16 the ends of the earth.

Jesus ordered the disciples to wait for the promise of the Father. Is there anything you are waiting for God to do?  Does God fulfill His promises? Do you?

The disciples stood there looking into sky. We often do the same thing taking in a special spiritual experience.  Jesus told the disciples to be witnesses for Him. I find it amusing and convicting as well, that the angels confronted the disciples. I can imagine them saying “quit looking…and go witness”.  That’s a good word to us!

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