Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Jesus has been raised from the dead! What happened next! In this brief series called Consequences, we shall look together at 7 consequences of Jesus’ death and resurrection and some of the theological implications.
Jesus was crucified, dead and buried. Frequently Jesus taught that he would rise from the dead. He was mocked for it when on the cross. The disciples had seemingly forgotten this and were hiding in fear at any retribution by the Jewish religious authorities. At his tomb, there were both Temple and Roman Guards to ensure nobody could steal the body of Jesus.
Acts 1:1-12 In my first book, Theophilus, I wrote about what Jesus began to do and teach. This included everything from the beginning of his life until the day he was taken to heaven. Before he was taken to heaven, he gave instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles, whom he had chosen. After his death Jesus showed the apostles a lot of convincing evidence that he was alive. For days he appeared to them and talked with them about the kingdom of God. Once, while he was meeting with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. Jesus said to them, “I’ve told you what the Father promises: John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So when the apostles came together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or periods that the Father has determined by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he had said this, he was taken to heaven. A cloud hid him so that they could no longer see him. They were staring into the sky as he departed. Suddenly, two men in white clothes stood near them. They asked, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking at the sky? Jesus, who was taken from you to heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives. It is near Jerusalem, about half a mile away.
Jesus’ resurrection is the catalyst for the mission of the church, beginning with the disciples and throughout history. Indeed, the growth and spread of the church, is a proof of the historical fact of Jesus’ physical resurrection or rising from the dead. Having been raised from the dead, Jesus’ mission to earth is coming to an end and shortly He will be returning to the right hand of the Father. Just as He had said to his disciples a few times before He went to the cross. Before He does leave though, He has some final instructions for His disciples.
In the Gospel of Mark 16:14-19, the Gospel of Luke 24:50-51 and in our reading from the book of Acts 1:1-12, we read about Jesus physically ascending into the heavens. Jesus has returned to the right hand of the Father, as He said he would do before His death on the cross. During their last discussion with Jesus, the disciples were still expecting him to lead a revolution against the Romans (Acts 1:6). Despite all Jesus had said to them in the previous 3 years, they still did not understand that Jesus had come to lead a spiritual kingdom and not a political kingdom.
Now it would be easy to think that Jesus has abandoned them, but no! Jesus tells them to go back to Jerusalem, wait for the Holy Spirit and then go tell others the Good News about Him! He had told them previously that he was going away and that it was better for them if He did, because the Holy Spirit would be sent to be with them, to live in them and empower them for the work they had to do! And even after Jesus had vanished into the clouds, the disciples still gathered around looking into the sky for Him to return! So two angels came and said “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.” (Acts 1:11) From there the disciples returned to Jerusalem and waited. They didn’t have to wait long, 10 days, until the Holy Spirit came, filled them and started living within them. And that is what we will look at tomorrow in the next of this series Consequences.
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