Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ascend and Descend

They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11 NAS)

Jesus Ascension"What goes up must come down," so the saying goes, but this does not apply to all things, and certainly not our age. Our age always goes up and never comes down, and unless we start counting our age all over again when we receive the Lord as Savior, being born again, our age will continue to go up, never to come down. This, however, is not the reason or the lesson for this story.

This story is about going up and coming down, or in the case of our Lord, it is about Jesus first coming down to save us all by His death on the Cross and about His going up to be at the right hand of God the Father to prepare a place for us. It is also about our going up to Him or He coming back for us, when our Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NAS).

As Christians, we know and have experienced the truth about the story. This is the story about God's love for us even while we were yet sinners and devoid of any worth. Despite our unworthiness, God chose to come down to earth to be born a Child, to live a lowly and humbling life, and to suffer for us all, even death on the Cross, so that we may be saved and be set free from the clutches of the devil.

As we remember our Lord's death on the Cross for us, His resurrection, and His ascension, let us all therefore feel as the psalmist feels when he said:

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there ... If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. (Psalm 139:7-10 NAS)

Knowing therefore that if we go up to heaven or even if we make our beds in Sheol that He is there, we can take comfort to know that our Lord is never too far away to lead us and hold us. Just as our Lord was taken up from the disciples into heaven, our Lord will certainly come again (Acts 1:11), and we shall always be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Teach us therefore, dear Lord, to be forever grateful to You for Your love and Your death on the cross for us. Without You O Lord, we would have been lost without salvation, never to be free from the clutches of the devil. It is You Lord Who deserves all the glory and praise! Thank You, Lord, for loving us so much. We love you Lord and we want to give You our all because You are worthy and deserving of all our heart, soul, strength and mind.

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