This is the last in a series of posts, beginning on December 12, where we have examined the six great truths about Jesus Christ from First Timothy 3:16, “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: / He who was revealed in the flesh, / Was vindicated in the Spirit, / Seen by angels, / Proclaimed among the nations, / Believed on in the world, / Taken up in glory.”
“…He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19); “…He parted from them [His disciples] and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:51); “…He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9; see Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:1-2, 22; Hebrews 4:14; 9:24; 1 Peter 3:22).
Two great promises
Two angels appeared to the disciples as they watched Him ascend. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11).
The second promise is directly related to the first: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
He who ascended will someday return. Then those He has redeemed will themselves ascend. “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
“But we believe . . . .”
“We walked not with the chosen few, / Who saw Thee from the earth ascend; / Who raised to heav’n their wond’ring view, / Then low to earth all prostrate bend; / But we believe that human eyes / Beheld that journey to the skies” (Anne Richter, “We Saw Thee Not”).
“The story of Jesus begins in heaven and ends in heaven. He lived as a servant; He was branded as a criminal; He was crucified on a cross; He rose with the nailprints still upon Him; but the end is glory” (Wm. Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, 105).
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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