Praising God anyway
Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:36 am
The Messenger, May 26, 2011
By MARY THORPE
Special to The Messenger
The story was only just beginning …
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
We might expect Jesus’ disciples to have reacted to His leaving them as He ascended into Heaven with sadness and anxiety but, instead, the Scripture states very clearly that Jesus left them with understanding, a promise of the Holy Spirit and a purpose. He blessed them and they worshiped Him and went back to Jerusalem with “great joy!”
Reading in Luke 24:44-53: “Then He said to them, ‘These (are) the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and (the) Prophets and (the) Psalms concerning Me.’ And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.’ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
They worshiped Him!
They returned to Jerusalem with great joy!
They knew and understood the fulfillment of Scripture in Jesus Christ because He had opened their understanding. They knew that the Father would send the Spirit to give them power. They knew that Jesus, Son of man and Son of God as revealed to them through His death and resurrection, had blessed them.
They knew they had been given a clear command, the Great Commission, with a promise He would always be with them. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20.
They knew that they were the bearers of a wonderful message, with the challenging honor of telling the world that Jesus is Lord and that Jesus is Saviour, a message of repentance and forgiveness.
No wonder they could not stop praising God!
The Scripture also tells us in Acts 1:14: “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer …”
One mind … continually praying. Obedient. Courageous.
There was no scratching of the head. There was no anxiety.
These men left the Mount of Olivet on that day of ascension to carry on the ministry planned by God and left an indelible impact on the world.
And the story is still being written.