Acts 1:9 (NIV) After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
For most Western Churches, this coming Sunday is known as “Ascension Sunday;” the Feast that commemorates the visible ascension of Christ to divine majesty.
On this Sunday, the Paschal Candle that had been lit since Resurrection Day, will be extinguished. This act symbolizes the yearning of the Church for the return of Christ.
Imagine having followed Jesus as a disciple and then witness his arrest and crucifixion. The death of their Master had filled the hearts of the disciples with despair and confusion. The hope of Israel; the hope of the nations…was dead.
Then the Master suddenly appears to them, physically. He lets them touch him and he asks for something to eat. He appears to them for forty days straight. He gathers with them at appointed times in order to have intimate meals and conversations.
How do you think your life would be affected if you were there? Would we consider anything impossible? Would we dare to violate our self-imposed limitations of age and health? Would we remain lazy, indifferent Christians?
For most of us, the answer would be: NO. How could we?
Then imagine standing up on a hill, watching the Master of the Universe, your friend… ascending slowly towards the skies. The Bible says that a cloud hid him from their sight; I’m pretty sure that tears hindered their sight before the cloud.
Christianity is more than a story about how God became Man through his eternal, divine Son. Christianity is based on the fact that a human being of flesh and blood, ascended to divinity by his own might and merit. Jesus Christ achieved what seemed to be the impossible. Through him, the human quest for divinity has been championed. The lowly sits above every Angel, Power and Authority in heaven and earth through the achievement of Christ.
In Christ, humankind sits upon the throne of God. You cannot ascend any higher… You are an Ascended Son. If we cannot perceive this, it is because we are not looking…
Colossians 3:2-3 (ESV) “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ were the two factors that motivated the Apostles to conquer the world through the Gospel. Because of these tangible experiences, the Apostles came to truly believe that the end of the old age had arrived, and that a new age of peace and prosperity had been ushered.
Christianity is not a philosophy or a set of myths. Christianity is a Faith based on eye-witness accounts that Jesus conquered death. This means, that Christianity is no place for those who do not challenge themselves to know the living Christ in a personal way.
Christianity is as powerless and vain as any other religion, when the Christ is not sought after as a real person. Christ will not reveal himself to those who casually seek him; nor will he waste his time trying to satisfy the curiosities of otherwise, uncommitted religionists.
But the Ascended Master will reveal himself to those who earnestly seek him.
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21
Don’t waste your time playing religion… This is too real for games. Christianity is not a theory… It is a fact.