A New Reality
Loving Lord God, I thank You for the wonderful reality of Jesus living today and living in me.
Read Acts 1:1-11
 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 presented himself to them 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.”  Then they gathered around him and 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.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat point is Luke making about Jesus' return?
As an avid watcher of sci-fi programs, I find these verses captivating. In an almost movie-like sequel to his Gospel, Luke begins at roughly the same place he left us–with the reality-shifting spectacle of Jesus ascending into heaven. Much drama and expectation is packed into this short account. To begin with, we are reminded of the death-defeating triumph of Jesus. When the disciples ask for some clarity, they are simply told to wait for the gift that has been promised (4). Imagine their bewilderment and anticipation as they hear about receiving power from this gift and about being his witnesses to the ends of the earth (8). Next, Jesus was taken up into heaven (9). The cloud, often a symbol of God’s presence, and the appearance of two angels explaining that Jesus would return in the same way, added to the divine significance. Suddenly heaven and earth were seen as interlocking spheres of a new reality–God’s reality–and Jesus could travel between them. This is food for thought about the second coming, and a startling display of the two-dimensional Kingdom of God.
The angels assured the disciples that Jesus would return. How do you feel about that? Are you ready for it?
Lord Jesus, I’m glad that You will return one day. Whenever that time comes, I want to be ready!
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