As we all know that we have started studying from the Book of Acts, and as we continue to study book of Acts please turn with me to Cp. 1 v 9-11.
I request brother Pravin to read for us, Thank you.
Acts is a crucial book because it is the only book in the New Testament which fills in the gap between the Gospels and the Epistles. The Gospels end in Jerusalem with a few Jewish believers in Jesus, and a group of disciples who are still living, as it were, in the past. The Epistles, on the other hand, portray a growing number of churches made up of mainly Gentile believers and a group of disciples who are boldly proclaiming Christ as Israel’s Messiah and as the Savior of the Gentiles as well. Only Acts fills in the gaps, to explain how these changes took place. We would not understand the Epistles apart from the Book of Acts.
This morning I believe that to examine Acts for today is a valuable exercise: first-century Christianity has much to teach us in the twenty-first century Christians. Acts contains thirty years history of the church, and for this thirty year of time Michael Green calls it (Thirty Years that changed the World).
Things that are happening in this passage are not very unusual; because if you read this carefully, you would be reminded by many passages regarding such type of things that has happened in the history or in the life of Jesus. And also after his ressuretion. But this is different.
We have two points this morning
- The ascension of the Lord v9
- He is coming Again. V 10-11
- The Ascension of the Lord.
In this passage we have our Lords ascension into heaven was an important part of His ministry,
The Lord Jesus Christ was about to depart for heaven to return to His former glory. Before doing that, He left the apostles with a final, dramatic moment which provided powerful motivation for carrying on His work. When the Lord had made their commission sufficiently plain to them, he disappeared from their sight, and no further resurrection appearances were granted to them,
The ascension here recorded was not the first occasion when he vanished from his companions’ sight after his resurrection. What happened on the fortieth day was that this series of visitations came to an end.
He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight (cf. vv. 2, 11, 22). Jesus, in His glorious resurrection body, left this world for the realm of heaven to take His place on the throne at God’s right hand. First consider what the Ascension meant to Jesus. It was His ascent to heaven for glorification. The first part of the mighty work of the divine Word was completed. He had lived and died and risen from the dead for the birth of a new creation.
Now the Lord’s ministry, which had been limited to the body of Jesus of Nazareth, was home with the triumphant company of heaven. Our Lord’s ascension into heaven was an important part of His ministry for if he had not returned to father, he could not have
sent the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. In heaven today, the saviour is our interceding high priest, giving us the grace that we need for life and service. He is also our Advocate before the Father, forgiving our sins when we confess. The exalted and glorified Head of the church is now working with his people on earth and helping them accomplish His purpose.
One commentator puts in this way this incidence “Gods way of Saying, He will not come to you again as the son of earth. Ring down the curtain on that phase of plan. Take a brief intermission while the stage is rearranged a bit, then hurry back for the next magnificent act of my epic story of human redemption. After He had finished speaking to them, He was gone from their sight.
I have no scripture passage to assure the point which is I am going to make, and there might be but I might have not reached to it, the point is somehow disciples have sensed that now after ascension they are not going to see Jesus again. The scripture tells us that He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out their sight. As I said earlier that this is an essential part of the ministry of Jesus. “Christ became what we are in order to make us what He is.” Briscoe, Stuart.
Application: He went but as the great forerunner of His people, and we must follow Him in His course; where the Head is, there should the members be; and our treasure, our life, our affection, are meant to be with Him at the right hand of God. For Unbelievers(The third is a lesson of holy fear. If you be an impenitent and hardened sinner, and will continue impenitent and hardened still, then fear; for then to you the lesson of Christ's Ascension is a lesson of wrath and doom.)
- He is coming again.
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven,.... For though he was taken out of their sight by the cloud, they kept looking upwards, and after him, if they could see him again, or any more of him:
as he went up; they looked up to heaven after him, as he went up from the earth, before the cloud took him out of their sight; and still they continued looking, as the cloud carried him up, until it was out of the reach of their sight, being willing to see the last of him in this way:
They would be hoping that something will take place in heaven as Jesus was going up.
Also this passage clears all our doubt about where Jesus is today, because scripture clearly tells us that Jesus went to heaven.
And there many claims made by Jesus himself. In John 6:38- For I have come down from heaven, not do my will but the will of my Father who sent me. 41, 42, 50, 51.
Jesus makes it very clear that He has come down from heaven, and this passage tells that now He is in heaven with his glory.
And what happens next is wonderful picture of love of Jesus towords his people.
And as they were gazing intently as if losing someone. Some of them, perhaps, remembering a previous experience, expected that the cloud would dissolve and Jesus be left with them, as on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus has not left his disciples in perplexed situation of what is going to happen next, but he had send two of Angels to rebuked them and reassure of what he has told them.
There are enough evidence to prove that these two men are angelic being.
It may be that the same two angels who rolled away the stone, and appeared at His open sepulchre, were present now. Or were they the “two men,” Moses and Elijah, who had appeared at the Transfiguration? Whoever they were, they were glorified beings, sent to do honour to Christ. The words may be taken as a rebuke for the indulgence of too much sentiment
V11 Why stand ye gazing?” There is undoubtedly reproof in these words.
- “Why stand ye?”—you need not lament that which is a blessing. All that is necessary on earth for your spiritual well-being He has accomplished, You should rejoice, rather than lament—rejoice at what He has done for you, rejoice that He has triumphed over His enemies, rejoice that He is leaving His degradation, sorrows, and enemies for scenes of dignity, blessedness, and love. Ah, how often, through our ignorance, we lament over events which should fill us with rejoicing.
- “Why stand ye”—you gain much by His departure. It is a “benefitting” for you that He goes away, for if He goes not away “the Comforter will not come.”
- “Why stand ye”—He has given you a commission to work. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, beginning at Jerusalem.”
- “This same Jesus which is taken from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”
- He will return to you “in like manner.” How unexpectedly He went away. It is said, “while they looked” He went. “In like manner” He will come: unexpectedly.
Suddenly and unexpectedly (Mat_24:44; Mar_13:36; Luk_12:40).As a thief in the night (1Th_5:2; 2Pe_3:10; Rev_16:15).As the lightning (Mat_24:27). As the flood (Mat_24:37-39). As He ascended (verse 11). In clouds (Mat_24:30; Mat_26:64; Rev_1:7). With a shout and the voice of the archangel (1Th_4:16). With angels (Mat_16:27; Mat_25:31; Mar_8:38; 2Th_1:7). With His saints (1Th_3:13; Jud_1:14). In the glory of His Father (Mat_16:27). In His own glory (Mat_25:31; Luk_9:26). In flaming fire (2Th_1:8). With power and great glory (Mat_24:30.)
Jesus came the first time in humiliation; He will return in exaltation. He came the first time to be killed; He will return to kill His enemies. He came the first time to serve; He will return to be served. He came the first time as the suffering servant; He will return as the conquering king. The challenge the book of Revelation makes to every person is to be ready for His return.
This morning my Question is that as NBC are we ready for His return. God has wonderfully ordain this year for us to understand what is the work that he is given us to do as his chosen and also he has told us through this truth that He is coming. So will he be able to say that to you well done my good and faithful servant. We are very privilege people that we have various opportunity to share his wonderful truth with others, may God help this morning that we shouldn’t be just gazing and looking intently but he may find us as faithful steward in his service.
May Lord help us to be the doers of His word.