Sunday 12th May 2024
Jesus ascended so the Holy Spirit could descend
  • Acts 1:1-11
  • Psalm 47:2-3,6-9
  • Ephesians 1:17-23
  • Mark 16:15-20

Today the church celebrates Jesus’ ascension into heaven. He had been arrested, tortured, crucified and killed. Human beings did as much as they could to hurt and destroy the Lord Jesus. However, nothing they did was enough to overcome the power of God, who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead, making him victorious over sin and death.

In today’s first reading, Jesus gives his disciples two final instructions before his ascension. Firstly, to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit and secondly, to bear witness.

Jesus is speaking the same words to us today. We are shocked and horrified of the events which take place in the world today. Our once peaceful and carefree lives have been replaced with sorrow and fear. This sorrow and fear are addressed by the Lord when he says, “Stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Acts 1: 4-5).

He is asking us to come to him with our pain, sorrows and fears. He wants to be the rock and shelter for us. When we come to him and cling to him through his Word, he gives us a promise – we will be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus ascended into heaven to empower us with this Holy Spirit. The power is coming through the Holy Spirit into us, we need to only wait for him. The Lord is asking us to wait on him in expectation of the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s love and mercy had changed the hearts of his disciples. Even though they lived with the Lord for three years, when the Lord was arrested, they deserted him. They loved the Lord, but they did not have the strength to stay with him and go through the torture he went through.

When the Risen Lord came in search of them, they received the forgiveness and love of the Lord. They realized they had a Master who was merciful and forgiving. His love for them outweighed anything they had done to him. He loved them even at their weakest point in life. And because of this, the disciples would have been even more encouraged to spread the good news of Christ’s resurrection to the rest of the world.

Today’s Gospel reading describes the task the Lord entrusted us with just before he ascended into heaven. For this to be possible in our lives, we should be baptized by the Holy Spirit and move from ‘with Christ’ to ‘in Christ’ experience.

PRAYER: Abba Father, empower us with the Holy Spirit that we will be witnesses of your love and your offer of eternal life. Amen

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