Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Ascension of Christ

       He last interview he had with them was in Jerusalem; and he took the little band of believers out of the city, down through the Eastern Gate, down through the valley of Jehosaphat, over the brook Kedron, past that garden where he sweated drops of blood, past Calvary, over the brow of the hill, and went out past Bethany, where Martha and Mary and Lazarus (the resurrected man) lived; and perhaps right there, under a cluster of little olive trees, he met his disciples for the last time to bid them farewell, and gave them his parting message. Now He says: "I go home; I go back to the throne; (He had been out of the grave forty days); now I ascend to God." And while he was blessing them - for you know he came blessing, the first thing he said on that memorable mountain when he preached that wonderful sermon (there were nine blessings right out of his heart, he could not go on until he got them out): "Blessed are the poor;" "Blessed are the peacemakers;" Blessed, blessed; and he recited those wondrous things and blessed them. And while he was blessing them he began to ascend; and he rose higher and higher; and his voice grew fainter and fainter, and at last it died away in the clouds; and the clouds received him out of their sight.
"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19. Free clip art here.
       I can imagine up in the clouds there was a chariot from the throne, to take him back home; his work was finished; he rides like Elijah in that golden chariot, and sweeps away through the heavens to the throne. Look at Him on his way to that world where all honor him, and all love him! And as he went sweeping upon his way home, he did not forget his little church; he could see them, but they could not see him; and I can see Peter and John looking up, in hopes that there will be a break in the clouds so that they may see him once more. And while they stand there, gazing up into heaven, you can see tears trickling down their cheeks, their hearts have almost gone out of their body; and he looks back and sees them; and he says to two of the angels who were conveying him home, "Go back, and tell those men that I will come back again." I don't know but they were the two, Mary saw in the sepulchre; and they said:
       "Ye men of Gallilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Thank God he is coming back! It is only a question of time. And in such a day and hour as we think not, he will rend the heavens and come back. Lift up your hearts, for the time of your redemption draweth near. "We don't worship a dead Savior! He has passed through the heavens, gone up on high, led captivity captive and taken his seat at the right hand of God.
       Paul saw him, and Stephen saw him, standing at the right hand of God. He is there, my friends. Thanks be to God, he is not here. They laid him in Joseph's sepulchre; he is risen and up yonder. D. L. Moody

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