Men's Connection: Meditations for May 10, 2011
By Bill Brettschneider. May 11, 2011. BLOWING ROCK -- Each Tuesday morning, the Men's Connection meets at Chetola Mountain Resort, Blowing Rock, for breakfast (7:30 am), fellowship and Bible study. Blowing Rock News is pleased to share these weekly meditations, by discussion leader Bill Brettschneider.
From our discussion last week of the Resurrection of Christ, we can consider that event to be the crowning fulfillment of all that was foretold. It led to the Ascension of Christ – the pivotal event which set the stage for all that will be fulfilled. For them to believe, the disciples did not need to witness the Resurrection. They only needed to come face-to-face with the Risen Lord. It was imperative for them to witness the Ascension such that they would be left with no doubt regarding the person and purpose of Christ.
Both the Gospels of Mark and Luke recount some aspect of the Ascension. Yet, our text for the day is taken from Luke’s other writing, the Book of Acts, Chapter 1, 1-11.
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 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
As we noted Tuesday morning, after reading this passage I am reminded of the breakfast buffet at Chetola – it is hard to know where to begin since there are so many good choices. So also, with Luke’s writing – so many good words written of an account that changed the lives of those present and changed the world from that point forward.
Herein various thoughts from our discussion:
Of the 40 day period – we have seen that window of time in a number of locations throughout Scripture. Of what significance is the 40 days and how did Jesus use his time prior to His Ascension? This number has been used by God as a period of testing or judgment required to accomplish some major portion of God’s plan for mankind. Consider the additional examples with which you may be familiar –
40 days for the flood (Gen 7:17)
40 days Moses on the Mount with God after the Golden Calf (Deut. 9:18, 25)
40 days for the spies, with a sentence of 40 years in the desert (Num 13:25; 14:34)
40 days of Jonah and
40 days of Christ’s temptation by the Devil in the wilderness (Matt. 4:2)
From Luke’s writings we can see that Jesus used this time “teaching,” “giving instructions,” and offering many “convincing proofs.” Could it be that having risen he had “finally gotten” the attention of the disciples and thus used this time to be well-certain they were prepared for his departure?
Or, perhaps they were not prepared, not fully understanding. Even as he provides them with the expectation of receiving “the gift my Father promised,” what is the next question they ask – “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to
As we have used our time this season to explore prophecies foretold and fulfilled, what of the words of Jesus himself regarding his Ascension? Did he not say this would take place?
John 3:12-15 – speaking to Nicodemus
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of
John 14:2-4 – Jesus speaking to His disciples
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Luke 24:26 – Jesus with the travelers on the road to Emmaus
Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
These are only a few of the examples wherein Jesus faithfully foretold ALL that was to come to pass. For the disciples and for us, Jesus desired that they and we be fully convinced that HE is indeed the Messiah of prophecy and the fulfillment of all Old Testament types concerning His whole ministry. When he was done with his precise instructions, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Nothing more needed to be said – “Let’s get to work.”
Are those not our “marching orders” as well?
Join us this coming week Tuesday, May 17, , as we continue to explore the Mission of Jesus – His Exaltation and His Return. Bring your Bible . . . and bring a friend.
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