Saturday, May 6, 2017

Keep Looking at the Clouds!

Jesus Ascends to the Father Acts 1:9-11
"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.”
Jesus appeared to the disciples many times after he rose from the dead, and now it was time to go back to his father.  The disciples thought he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel, but it was not yet time.  Instead he told his disciples to wait for the promised Holy Spirit.  According to the passage Jesus it says, "Jesus was taken from them and a cloud hid him from their sight."  
Does this remind you of another scene in Jesus' life? Remember the transfiguration when Jesus gave Peter, James and John a glimpse of His glory.  Luke tells the story this way, 
"While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.  A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”  When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone."
Notice God's presence came in the cloud, as Jesus was being transfigured before them.  And they entered the cloud of God's presence.   Importantly this was a time that assured Jesus' inner circle that He was truly the Son of God.  Now this same cloud hid him from their sight, as he ascended back to the Father, 40 days after he had risen from the dead. 
Finally, the passage says that when the time has come to restore the  kingdom of Israel, Jesus will, "Come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Other passages relating to Jesus' Second Coming say very similar things. The Gospel of Mark says it this way, 
 "And then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26 NASB)
The book of Revelation says something similar,
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
    and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
    and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[c]
So shall it be! Amen.

So next time you look at the clouds remember that one day Jesus will come back riding in on the clouds in great and promised glory. Until that day like the disciples were are to be witnesses in the power of the Holy Spirit to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.  

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