When I was little, I remember one of my Sunday school teachers teaching us the story about Jesus ascending into the clouds. She shared how excited she was for Jesus to come again. The story felt other-worldly, and I can still picture felt-board Jesus as she moved Him from the ground to the sky. (Side note: Those of you serving in children’s ministry, remember that your work and lessons are not in vain!) I remember as a child wrestling with, “How can this be true?!” and yet, ultimately, through the faithfulness of her teaching and the teaching of others, I believed.
As an adult, it’s still the same. I believe. I whole-heartedly believe the story about Jesus in the clouds. But if I’m being honest, the harder part for me is remembering that our Jesus, the one who saved us from our sins and has promised to one day return, is the same Jesus whose final act on earth was to bless us. But today as I read over our passage, His final blessing stopped me in my tracks. Let’s take a closer look at the passage:
“And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. Now during the blessing, he departed and was taken up into heaven.” – Luke 24:49–51
I’ve always looked at the passage and viewed Jesus’s ascension and final words as a departing goodbye. But Scripture tells us it’s more than that; it’s a blessing. Jesus’ final act while ascending into heaven was blessing His people.
I’m not sure why my heart had a hard time believing that this week, but it did. Truth be told, sometimes it is easier for me to grasp and believe the theological facts about the story of Jesus than it is to embrace the implications of those truths on my life.
Jesus came. Jesus died. He overcame the grave. And then He ascended into heaven.
Yes, I believe.
And He did those things to bless us, to restore us, to invite us to live on mission with Him.
Yes, I want to believe. But truth be told, sometimes that part is harder for me to accept fully. The humanity of Christ’s love for us still shocks me. And yet, that is the heart of the mission of God. Jesus came and died for us. He didn’t have to suffer for us, but He did. In His final moments with His disciples, He didn’t have to bless them—bless us—but He did.
And so, dear reader, I don’t know what you’re facing today but I need you to know these truths: Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again. He did those things because of His deep love for you. On these dark days between His first coming and His return, He hasn’t left us helplessly waiting. No, instead He left us with a blessing, a promise of power from on high that one day all nations will be brought to restoration and redemption found only in Him.
Today as you go, regardless of what life might throw at you, may you walk in the confidence of one who has been blessed.
Blessings upon you,
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