Luke 24:36-53; Acts 1:1-12
April 8, 2018
preached by Doug Cooper
Time of Reflection Quotations
“The Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven in the selfsame body in which He lived, died and rose in our midst. Glorified now, Jesus wears the flesh which is our inheritance. Though fully human still, and thus embodied, Jesus is yet fully God and able to communicate Himself to the members of His body across all distance of realms, dimensions, hours or miles. This is accomplished by the work of the blessed Holy Spirit, who is able, beyond all comprehension, to connect those who seem impossibly separated.”
“The ascension changes the way we understand our place in this world. We belong to Jesus Christ who is in heaven… The church of Jesus Christ, then, is called out of the world in order to lay down her life for the world. We draw apart from the world in its insistence on self-sufficiency. Yet we return to that very world with the offer of the love of the gospel. Our mission is properly defined by the ascended, reigning and returning Jesus.”
~ Gerrit Scott Dawson, contemporary pastor and author
“Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand – in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science – he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God.”
~ Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), Prime Minister of the Netherlands, journalist and theologian
“You have worth apart from your work, and that frees you to work for all that it is worth.”
~ Matt Popovits, contemporary pastor and writer
“Although the Christian is thus free from all works, he ought in this liberty to empty himself, take upon himself the form of a servant, be made in the likeness of men, be found in human form, and to serve, help, and in every way deal with his neighbor as he sees that God through Christ has dealt and still deals with him.”
“Every occupation has its own honor before God. Ordinary work is a divine vocation or calling. In our daily work no matter how important or mundane we serve God by serving the neighbor and we also participate in God’s ongoing providence for the human race.”
“God himself will milk the cows through him whose vocation that is.”
~ Martin Luther (1483-1546), German theologian, writer and Protestant Reformer
Luke 24:36-53; Acts 1:1-12 (NIV)
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “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.”
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.