4/5/16 Last Words

While they travel, Jesus continues to teach them, just as He did before His death.  “When I was with you before, I spoke of what was to come – the fulfillment of all the prophecies in the Holy Scriptures, in the books of Moses and in the prophets and Psalms, about My death.  Now that your eyes are open, let Me explain it to you further.”  Jesus speaks to them in detail about all the prophecies concerning Him and how they have been fulfilled.  “Hundreds of years ago, these things were written, showing that I would have to suffer and die, but would come back to life on the third day.  A prophecy yet to be fulfilled is to be your job – to go to all the countries of the world and proclaim in My Name that anyone who turns away from his sin and comes to Me for forgiveness will receive it.  You are My witnesses, now you are the ones who will go and proclaim this to the world.”  When they reach Jerusalem, Jesus finds a place for them to stay until the Holy Spirit comes.  They share a meal together, and He tells them, “Remember, do not leave the city until the Holy Spirit comes to you, just as My Father has promised.  He will fill you with My power and enable you to do the work that I AM calling you to do.  John the Baptist, My cousin, baptized people with water.  But soon, you will baptize people with the Holy Spirit.”  The apostles ask Him, “Rabbi, is it time now for You to lead the revolt against Rome and free us from its tyranny?”  Jesus tells them, “Only My Father can say when it is time for things to happen, and He will not share this information with you.  Do not concern yourselves with these things.  Only remember, wait for the Holy Spirit to come to you, and then go out and be My witnesses, spreading My message to everyone everywhere.  Start here in Jerusalem and then go all over the world.”  They go to Bethany, and there, Jesus bids them farewell.  As they watch in awe, Jesus rises up in the clouds, higher and higher until they can no longer see Him at all.  Craning their necks to try to catch a glimpse of Him, they do not see the two angels who appear next to them until one of them speaks, saying, “Why are you looking for Jesus?  He is no longer on the earth, but has been taken up to Heaven to be with His Father.  On the last day, He will return, in the same way you just saw Him leave.”  The apostles stare at the angels, not knowing what to do, and then as suddenly as they appeared, they are gone.  The apostles fall down on their knees and worship God, then return to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple, their hearts joyful and their words full of praise.

 

Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:4-11, Mark 16:19-20

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