Why did Jesus have to go?  His ascension can be a confusing event.  Weren’t thing finally going well for the disciples?  At first glance it might have seemed that way.  Jesus was alive.  He appeared to many different people for forty days.

Jesus’ ascension into heaven was a good thing.  You can be thankful that Jesus left.  Here are two reasons why.  First, Jesus didn’t really leave.  In the last verse of the Gospel of Matthew, NIV – Jesus says, Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.  Compare that with the KJV – Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Both are satisfactory translations of the Greek.  The point is that whatever end is coming – Jesus will be there with you right up to it.  The end of your life, job, schooling, yes, even the end of the world is not something to lose sleep over because the King of the Universe is in charge of it all for you.

Second, some of the disciples were hopeful that finally now Jesus would bring about the physical kingdom of heaven on earth. They – along with many others – saw Jesus was the perfect political leader.  He is all powerful, all knowing, all wise, and all loving.  That covers all of the bases, but that wasn’t going to happen. Jesus’ kingdom wasn’t of this world. His is a real kingdom, but it was not a government like North Carolina.  Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual one made up of believing hearts.

Jesus didn’t just leave and now we twiddle our thumbs.  We have work to do.  Sunday, as we celebrated Mother’s Day, I shared with you a heart-warming story of a mom.  Catalina Clouser was recently in the news.  She left her two-year-old son in a car seat on top of her car… and then drove off.  As it turns out drinking and driving, and caring for children isn’t a good plan.  It might be easy to point at Catalina and shame her as a bad mother, but I don’t know if that really helps.  As moms – or sinners in general – you can always find someone worse.  God wants us to compare ourselves to him.  He’s holy.  That means there isn’t any room for being a bad mom.  Finding another mom worse than you won’t take away your guilt.  The only cure is Jesus.  Our ascended Lord came to live in our place and die in our place that we might be forgiven.  Want to hear more?  Watch this Sunday’s sermon – the Last in our New Life series – New life when he’s gone?!


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