Today’s Reading: Luke 24:44-53
While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:51)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We all are familiar with the saying, “Here today, gone tomorrow.” Whether we like it or not, what is today will not be tomorrow. This same thought applies to Jesus as well, whether you like it or not.
After His three years of ministry, there were people who were more than happy to see Jesus die; this was the prevailing sentiment from the beginning of His ministry. But for as many people who wanted to see Jesus dead, there were just as many who wanted to see Jesus live forever. Their reasons varied: Some admired His teaching, some looked to Jesus as a means of healing the sick. For the disciples, Jesus was their Teacher. He was their Master. He was their Friend. Regardless of who Jesus was, He was not destined to live a long life on earth. He was destined to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
As much as the disciples did not want to hear of Jesus’ death, it was necessary. Following our Lord’s resurrection, all seemed well with the disciples–Jesus had returned to them! Though the disciples had Jesus back again, Jesus had other plans–He would return to the Father. All of this had been taught to them. All of this was according to God’s divine plan for salvation.
Luke’s Gospel gives us just a glimpse of our Lord’s Ascension. In fact, the Ascension itself comprises a single verse: “While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” Jesus was here yesterday and gone tomorrow. But then, Jesus was here again following the resurrection. How happy the disciples must have been to have Jesus with them once again. But that would not last long, as Jesus needed to return to the Father. All would not be lost after Jesus’ Ascension, though, as He would grant to them the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Because Christ has ascended unto the Father, so we will ascend as well. We will be with Him in glory. We will enjoy all of the benefits Christ has won for us. We have life because Christ has laid down His life and taken it up again in order to grant life for all believers. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Ascension of Our Lord)
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.