“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11 NIV).
So, there were these guys standing around looking up and two guys walk up and say…
Sounds like a lead in for a really bad joke. But it’s not. It’s one of the most incredible momentous events humanity has ever witnessed. You always hear of people knowing exactly where they were when something huge happened like 9/11, JFK’s assassination, etc. Well the apostles would always know and remember where they were when…When Jesus accented into Heaven.
They had spent the past 40 days with Jesus after he was raised from the dead. They had just had lunch with Jesus. They had just been promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them in all truth. They had just received their commission to go throughout Judaea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth telling everyone what they had witnessed and now they see Jesus go to heaven. How much more of a pep talk can one get? You can almost imagine “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background as they leap into the air doing chest bumps and that is only half of the passage.
The other half starts in the form of a question, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” Followed by the passage we cling to about Jesus's return, His second coming. “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Put all of this together and it gives us some sense of urgency. What are you doing standing around looking up into the sky? Don’t you have a world to save? He’s coming back so hurry up, be on your way and do as he told you to do. Yes, this is assurance that He is coming back, but it is also the start of the Church. They did as they were told. The apostles stayed in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost and then through the strength of the Holy Spirit they changed the world.
Can you say that? Are you doing what God has called you to do?
In the strength of the Holy Spirit a rag tag bunch of misfits and fishermen changed the world.
What can you do with the strength of the Holy Spirit? What is it God wants to do through you?