Last Sunday we commemorated Ascension Sunday. After Jesus suffered and died on the cross on all our behalf because of our sins, God through the Holy Spirit, raised Jesus from the dead. And for the next 40 days, the Risen Lord met His apostles and disciples from time to time and at the end of that period, rose into the heavens.
We learnt 3 things that Jesus did from this narrative recorded in Acts 1:3-11.
1. He Appeared
Jesus appeared to the women that went to the tomb, like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the apostles. After Jesus was crucified and died, they went into hiding and Jesus appeared to them even though they were afraid. God knows that these people will carry this message about the kingdom of heaven, the Good News about Jesus Christ to all over the world as He had commanded them in Matthew 28:19-20.
History and personal experiences had confirmed that Jesus appeared after God raised Him from the dead and He can be trusted for what He did. He didn’t appear to a few but to hundreds. The disciples of Jesus in the 1st Century were willing to die for their faith and continue to trust Him in difficulties and life-threatening situations because they all had their encounters with the Risen Christ!
Has Jesus appeared to you? What has He done in your life? Don’t forget His grace and goodness and don’t depart from following Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Instead, Shout Out Loud about His amazing and awesome interventions in your life. God gave us free will to choose and let’s choose to sing and shout of His amazing love.
2. He Proved
Not only did Jesus appear to the disciples, but He also proved in many ways and beyond the shadow of doubts that He was the same person who died and now is alive. For example, He asked them to put their fingers through His nail-pierced hands. What a splendid and over the top joy for these people who love Jesus, who cared for Him, to find Jesus is alive and risen from the dead! And though what they original desired did not happen (Acts 1:6-7), that is to establish the earthly kingdom of Israel, they proceeded to be faithful to the call of their lives because Jesus had proven to them beyond any doubts that He indeed is alive, and they must take His instructions seriously and even if it cost them their lives.
Not only had He proven He is alive, He told them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promised Holy Spirit and He stated that this will happen in a few days. We know from history and Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit indeed came on Pentecost, 10 days later and for us in the 21st Century, this would be on this coming Sunday, 5 June 2022.
On this Sunday Service, we will be praying for God to fill us, to baptise us with His Holy Spirit. Come and be prayed for believing that God will baptize you.
Have you encountered Jesus to the point where He is, without doubt, your Lord and Master? He has proven to you His love, His care, His greatness and when you trust Him fully, He will never fail you and not only that, but you will also be able to enjoy abundant life as a child of God because He is with you, and it starts today. That is something money cannot buy, nor can you win favour for.
3. He Taught
Jesus taught that the kingdom of Heaven meant God has the absolute reign and rule in our lives. As the acts of the apostles' progress, we know that the door to the kingdom of heaven is through Jesus Christ. What He did became known as the Good News of Jesus Christ and when you receive Christ into your heart, you are in God’s kingdom. In this kingdom, Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33 that we must seek the kingdom of God (the rule and reign of God) and His righteousness and when we do so, all our needs will be met by the Creator of the Universe, the Great Almighty Owner of everything we see, feel and touch.
That assignment that was given to the 1st Century is also assigned to us today in the 21st Century and we will be required to give an account to this Risen Christ one day. We were not ushered into the eternal wonderful kingdom of Jesus just so that we could be blessed on this earth though that is true, we have been given assignments that must never be forgotten or neglected. Through us, God wants to bless the world around us, and we must be the light and salt that makes a difference in our society as people who represents Him. We must not be self-sufficient and self-centred but be an impact to the glory of God. In our Church, God has given us a channel to do that and by His grace, we have been able to fulfil our mission.
In conclusion, as we reflect on the ascension of Jesus, the angels told the people who had witnessed the ascension that He is coming back again and in the same manner as He went. Let us be ready and in the meanwhile, learn what He had taught by reading our Bibles so that we will not miss out on His teachings which are also His commandments. Jesus said when He judges us, it will be according to the commandments God had given humanity (John 12:48) and when we are faithful, we will be welcomed into His eternal kingdom when He returns. (Matthew 25:14-30).
Have a wonderful week as we rejoice over the fact that Jesus had ascended and is alive. He is seated on the right hand of God with authority and praying for us. He now lives in us through His Holy Spirit. Praise be to God for what He is doing in our lives.