May 24, 2015 -
"Christ Returns To The Father”
Have you ever bid goodbye to a loved one? You accompany him to the place of his departure, the train station or the airport, you listen to his final words, and then you gaze until the vehicle bearing the loved one disappears in the distance.
It was like that when Christ bid farewell to His beloved followers. How simply the Scriptures depict His leaving. Jesus led them to a mountain out towards Bethany. This was as far as they could go. The Lord spoke to them for the last time and blessed them. As the apostles listened to the Lord, He was lifted up and a cloud soon embraced Him and took Him out of their sight.
The apostles returned to Jerusalem “with great joy.” There was no mourning at this farewell: There was gladness. The Lord had finished the work He had come to do, He had won the victory over Death, He promised to send them the Spirit, and He gave them instructions for the future. All of this was cause for joy as they made their way back to the “upper room.”
That is the way the Scriptural narratives portray the story of Christ’s Ascension. It is a fitting climax to the earthly life of the Lord. Of course, it was not the end of that life; in fact, it marked the beginning of the Christian Age. Soon the Holy Spirit would come to inspire and transform the apostolic group thereby changing the world forever.
This process continues today. Now WE are involved in it. What better thing is there to do than follow the example of the apostles of the Lord? We can rejoice in the glory of Christ. We can return to our “upper rooms,” our churches and meet together in prayer. We can await the coming of the Holy Spirit who will give us the power for the fulfillment of our tasks. Is this not the way to observe this feast?