The Story is NOT Over
Reading: Luke 24:50-53
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God. [NASB1995®]
And they all lived happily ever after… Thus end the fairy tales that we read as children. Today we arrive at the end of the Gospel of Luke. But this story is not over, certainly not.
The first reason is because after the Gospel, Luke will continue to show how God fulfills His sovereign plans in the book of Acts. In our Bibles, between both works is the Gospel of John, but both works should be read together. In the first we see how God develops His sovereign plans through Jesus, and in the second we see this in the Church that Jesus establishes.
But there are other reasons to understand that this story has not yet ended…
In today’s passage we see Jesus being lifted up to Heaven…
He has promised to return… One of the fundamental truths of the Christian faith is that Jesus is to return for His own. He has not left forever. He will return. So I announce it, so it will be. We believers long for that return, and the certainty that on the day that our Redeemer comes, he will encourage us, sustain us, and give us the right perspective to live in this world.
Because He is coming, we know that the evil of this world will end. Because He is coming, we know that our own struggle with the sin that dwells in our hearts will end. Because He is coming we do not cling to this world and its passing things. Because He will come we have hope, sense, direction, purpose…
He has given us a mission… The disciples have received instructions from the Lord. All that they have learned, what they have seen and experienced. The wonder of the gospel they have experienced from the front row. All of that, they must share it. The Spirit of the Lord will be with them, He will guide them, He will empower them. They are not alone. That same mission is our as well: Be witnesses of Christ.
Let me add a parenthesis here. There is an awareness in the disciples of the identity of the Lord. That’s why they love him. They now know with whom they have walked, they know who they serve.
The disciples are full of joy. The part of God’s plan to fill the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been made known. How could we not be happy? How could we not praise God for this?
MEDITATE: Is our gaze fixed upon Heaven (Colossians 3:1)? Are we confident in knowing that Jesus returns? Do we remember that we are part of His plan, that we serve HIS purposes?
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader