You see, that’s not where Christians are meant to be. Do you see? It’s not about just gazing into heaven. Now, times when we gaze into heaven are wonderful times, but that’s not where we’re meant to be, because there’s work to do. There’s work to do. There’s mission to be involved in. There are churches to be planted, there’s a gospel to be preached. It has to go to the ends of the world.
There are three quick things about the ascension of Jesus.
- It gives to us, first of all, an explanation as to why Jesus never appeared again. You know, if they hadn’t seen Jesus ascend into the cloud, they might have always been waiting for Him to appear again. It was a very public statement that this now was the final thing that He was going to do until His Second Coming.
- Secondly, it explains in a visible way that in a sense, He was being ‘promoted.’ He was being lifted up. He was taking His humanity to the throne of God, so that, as John Owen says, the dust of the earth is at the right hand of God.
- And thirdly, it gave to the disciples and to you and me a little glimpse of what the next great redemptive event will be. And you know what the next great redemptive event will be? You see, it’s not Israel. It’s not anything to do with Jerusalem. It’s the Second Coming of Jesus. And how will that Second Coming occur? On a cloud. With the angels. With the trumpet of God. And the dead will rise.
And in that period between the first disappearing of Jesus at His ascension and His reappearing at His Second Coming, He’s saying to you and He’s saying to me, ‘Catch the vision. Catch the vision of world mission, and world evangelism, to the end of the ages.’
May God help us to catch that vision.
– Derek Thomas