John 14:18-20; Luke 24:36-53; Colossians 3:1-3
May 14, 2023
preached by Pastor Doug Cooper
Time of Reflection Quotations
“At His Ascension our Lord entered Heaven, and He keeps the door open for humanity to enter.”
~ Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Scottish writer and teacher
“The ascension changes the way we understand our place in this world. We belong to Jesus Christ who is in heaven. Our true home is there, not here. As we sojourn, we touch the things of this world but lightly…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
“Christians are no different from the rest in their nationality, language or customs… They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners. They find their homeland wherever they are, but their homeland is not in any one place… They are in the flesh, but do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but are citizens of heaven.”
~ from To Diognetus 5.1-11 (c. A.D. 130 to 180)
“Anthropologists have observed that immigrants and refugees sometimes have a greater love for their national identity and a greater commitment to cultural preservation than those who remain in the homeland. That’s because when you have everything stripped away, you cling to what makes you who you are. We too, as we experience increased isolation and shame in our country of origin, have an opportunity to embrace the foreignness that comes with being like God and a citizen of his kingdom.”
~ Elliot Clark, contemporary author, cross-cultural church planter
“The ascension of Christ makes heaven seem homelike to us as we journey toward it; for Jesus wears our humanity at the right hand of the Father.”
~ Abbott Eliot Kittredge (1834-1912), American minister
John 14:18-20; Luke 24:36-53; Colossians 3:1-3 (NIV)
18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
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 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.