Where in the World is Jesus?

For many years the TODAY SHOW had a weeklong segment entitled, “Where in the world is Matt?  Host Matt Lauer would travel to remote and exotic places on earth and each day would offer clues as to where he was.  The show would begin with a close up of him with very little background — his co-stars would guess where he was. Finally the camera would move back to reveal where he was.  For the remainder of the show, there were various pre-taped segments shown to tell more about the city or nation where Matt was —- life, culture, food, etc.

As we celebrate the ASCENSION, we can ask, “Where in the world is Jesus today?”

He died — he spent three days in the tomb.  Then, rising from the dead, he spent “40 days” [a complete amount of time] among disciples, showing himself to be alive, revealing more about himself and his mission, and then eventually leaving ——- so that He and the Father could then send the Spirit.

The Acts of the Apostles [1:1-11] draws a picture of how the disciples remembered the Ascension experience to be.  After presenting himself as alive with many proofs, he told them to stay where they were and to await the PROMISE of the Father — the Holy Spirit.  Jesus went on to remind them, that when the Spirit comes, they would receive POWER so that they/we could be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth.  Then when standing together, Jesus was lifted up and taken from their sight.

[1] So, where is Jesus?

He has taken his seat at the right hand of the Father.  [Mark 16:15-20]  He is there where he intercedes for us.

And, at the same time, He is with us always, as the Good Shepherd to guide us and to console us — to inspire us and to encourage us.  ALSO, He is within us — through the gifts of the Spirit so that we need never fear.

[2] Is he going to return again — and how?

We do believe — and we profess in faith — that he will one day, return again in GLORY with salvation for all people.

According to the Acts of the Apostles, he “will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  That means “on a cloud” ……… Or BETTER SAID, IN MYSTERY.  While we want to know when, “it is not for us to know the time or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.”

[3] So, what should we be doing now?

NOT STANDING THERE LOOKING INTO THE SKY, daydreaming and acting like we have NOTHING TO DO.  Empowered by the Spirit we are to be “out there” witnessing not in words, but in deeds.  We are to use words rarely, and actions always.

While I have no intent to pick up a rattle snake or a copperhead, I can grasp evil and face it down.  I would never test God by drinking drain cleaner, but I can “take in” what others are saying and challenge them without fear that their words or deeds will kill me.

We have all given hope to the “hopeless” and brought new life to those who were despondent. As an empowered man or woman, we can do this over and over again.

My work is not your work and your work is not my work.  Each of us has a role to play and a mission to fulfill.  We do it as long as the Lord gives us breath.

Jesus has gone ahead, he has risen ABOVE … and where he has gone, we hope to follow.

Instead of asking, “where in the world is Jesus?”, let us ask, “Where is Jesus not — and then go there to witness to his presence and to bring his love.”

hjm

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