Not My Usual Clean and Somewhat Classy Blog…
Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 9-11
Verse 9. “And when he had spoken these things, (He spoke “concerning the kingdom of God,” He spoke concerning the priority: not the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, but receiving the Holy Ghost. He spoke concerning the power to be witnesses in Jerusalem – home missions or in my case Springfield AND to Siberia – the uttermost part of the earth. When he had spoken these things – Important things – significant things. Matters to be remembered. And they would be as they are written over 30 years later. Don’t let the priority become the miniscule. Focus on what Jesus would have us focus on.) while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received (carried upward) him out of their sight. (this indicates a cloud on which he stood and the cloud moving upward into the heavens until Jesus could no longer be seen. As Jesus walked on the sea, it is as though He is now walking on the clouds)
Verse 10. And while they looked stedfastly (gazed intently) toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Verse 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.”
Verse 10. These words are not the “end” of Luke’s communication to Theophilus. Instead, treat this as the first chapter in a sequel to what was already reported. The opening verses are something of a splint attaching the last chapter of Luke to the first chapter of Acts.
Christ’s departure was not a sunset for His work on the earth. It was a sunrise, beginning a new day. Luke had written one set of comments about the life of Christ to Theophilus. Now, these events which parallel events happening in the latter part of the gospels are restated to Theophilus.
The ascension of Christ was so important that the Holy Ghost inspired writers to mention it in Acts and the gospels no less than twenty times. There are thirteen different Greek words and expressions used to describe His ascension. Each word expresses a slightly different shade of meaning. In the next verse, we will learn why this is important.
It was no accident that a cloud was used to receive the Lord. A cloud is involved in three different aspects of the past and future with the Lord Jesus Christ. These are three great events connected with Jesus and the cloud:
- His transfiguration where He talked with Moses and Elijah (Matt. 17:5)
- His ascension described here
- When He comes again in glory . . . “You shall see the Son of Man coming in clouds with power and great glory” (Mk. 13:26). Here is a word picture for you. Jesus left riding on the waves of a cloud; like someone riding the waves behind a boat. When Jesus returns, He will ride the wave of a cloud as well
When God ends one thing, He begins a new thing. Generally, the new thing is built on the foundation of the past thing. Don’t worship the past. Don’t get stuck in the past. Celebrate yesterday while moving on into tomorrow. Maintain your hall of fame, but don’t stop living today. Don’t concrete your life steadfastly looking upward to what cannot be explained or understood. Jesus had given these men a specific task – “Tarry at Jerusalem” to be followed by a specific mission.
Move into God’s new thing. This almost always requires growth from the person who is moving forward. It certainly did for Peter, John and these others.
The disciples already had His promise of a SPIRITUAL return to be IN them, but this was different. The angels speak of another PHYSICAL return of the Lord.
To contact Carlton L. Coon Sr. as a speaker, for a guest blog post, or podcast - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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