Okay, folks, we’ve got some tough scriptures this week, so we’re going to have to go deep into a symbolic interpretation to find some application for our spiritual lives.
At least, that’s the way I feel. You may count Acts 1 and John 17 among your favorite scriptures in the Bible, in which case, please share with me what you take away from them.
Because for me, Jesus in John 17 is borderline incomprehensible, and I, much to my shame, feel myself glaze over about halfway through this passage.
And verses 6-14 of Acts 1 just strike me as this blend of the awkward and the supernatural, and I’m just really not sure what I’m supposed to take away from it.
But never let it be said that we shy from mining our scriptures to their depths, so let’s dig in.
Honestly, maybe it’s a blessing that we’re confused by this scene in Acts of Jesus ascending to heaven, because I think that actually really puts us right in the shoes of the disciples.
Think about how they must be feeling at this moment.
Jesus, in an earth shatteringly unexpected turn of events, arose from the dead forty days ago.
Six weeks is in no way long enough to adjust to reality breaking apart like that, and they’re probably still stumbling around in a daze.
Maybe they’ve just really started to accept that Jesus is back, that their beloved friend who died a torturous death is alive and with them again.
The guilt and pain and panic that consumed them on Good Friday have finally started to ebb away.
They’re tentatively starting to rely on having him with them again, alive and breathing, his heart beating and his eyes shining with gentle love.
Now, seemingly out of the blue, they see him lifted on a cloud to heaven.
Why is he leaving them? He just returned! How could he do this to them?
How could he do this to us? Continue reading