6/2/2014 12:44:14 PM
On Ascension Day, 2014, the town of La Crescent was looking up. The Blue Angels were in town, and you couldn’t help but look up as the roar of the jets went by overhead. It was hard to look away from the magnificent display. A person could be filled with a number of different emotions. First there is pride, national pride for our military and our abilities and freedoms represented by this flying team. Secondly, a feeling powerlessness standing beneath the power and speed and strength of this flying corps; knowing that if they wanted to they could reign down terror from the sky and we would be helpless. Thirdly, there is the feeling of security or peace. We know that they are watching our skies, guarding our boarders and keeping us safe, even when we don’t think about it.
On the day of Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the disciples are left staring into the sky. Jesus’ presence, and his departure should have left them, as well as you and me, with the same feeling that the mighty Blue Angels left with us on Ascension Day 2014. Jesus ascension into heaven leaves us with a sense of pride, a sense of power and a sense of peace. As we watch through the eyes of Scripture we cannot help but be proud knowing Jesus ascended into heaven. He is our Savior. He finished his earthly work. He lived perfectly in our place. He was crucified with the punishment for our sins. He rose victoriously over sin, death and the devil. How can we be anything but proud? He is our Lord.
But we also feel the power in Jesus’ ascension. He visibly, physically left the world in plain sight of his disciples. He was taking up again, all the glory that is His as King of kings and Lord of lords. There is a sense of helplessness in this magnificent site. Jesus, true God could crush us for our sins. Our lives seem so small, so meaningless compared to the Almighty, Eternal God. But as His children, given faith by the Holy Spirit, his power is also our peace.
Jesus’ ascension gives us the peace that the Almighty, Eternal Savior, is ruling the skies. He is watching our boarders, he is caring for us, ruling all the world, all history for the good of those he has called to be His own through faith. Pride, power, peace.
If others were like me, they had a tough time pulling themselves away from the skies on May 29th. I found myself just staring into the sky waiting for the jets to come roaring by again, to be filled with the sense of pride, power and peace. So it was with the disciples. They had to be reminded that Jesus would return just as he left. But they were not to stand motionless waiting. They were to work. They were to live as Christ’s disciples. They were to tell others throughout the world of the pride, power and peace that comes with faith in Jesus Christ.
The word on the street on Thursday, Ascension Day 2014, was, “Did you see the Blue Angels?” At least it was from my mouth. This Ascension Day, we are moved once again to live and speak the excitement of knowing our Savior Jesus and can’t help but share that pride, power and peace. Keep Christ First!
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will 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.”
Keep Christ First!
Pastor Chris Christenson