He [Jesus] told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.” (Acts 1: 7-11, MSG, emphasis added)
The Ascension Day is the day when Jesus was taken up to heaven 40 days after the resurrection. Without the happenings of the Ascension Day the salvation plan of God would not have progressed. Jesus had to go away so he could come back.
Jesus did not leave us defenseless: 10 days later on Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit. Hence we are equipped to wait for Jesus’ second coming as it is promised so many times in the Bible. Actually, there are more prophecies of Jesus’ second coming than for his birth!
Just like it took time to prepare everything for Jesus’ first coming, it does take time to get everything ready for his second coming. God is not late. God has not forgotten us. Meanwhile we are called to trust God and prepare ourselves and people around us to be ready for Jesus. The blessings of the Ascension Day are many. Mainly it prepares us to trust God’s plan and wait for the Lord’s timing.
“A little while” is a great phrase that characterizes the art of spiritual waiting of Israel. Here it is used by Isaiah:
Come, my people, enter your chambers,
and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the wrath is past.
(Isaiah 26:20, NRSV, emphasis added)
Also, Jesus used the phrase. “A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me” (John 16:16, NRSV, emphasis added).
It is not about chronological time. It’s about God’s promises. And the triumph of God is already guaranteed. Hence we can already rejoice as we wait. We can already live in the post-resurrection wonder. We can already live in eternal hope.
So it does not matter how long this “a little while” will be because the outcome is very sure. In a little while, Jesus is coming back to take us to his Father. Let us praise the Lord!
Your salvation plan is so perfect and wonderful.
Give us courage and patience to wait unswervingly.
Give us hope and peace to faithfully prepare for your coming.
Enable us to always live in the post-resurrection joy.
Equip us to serve others as we wait.
Empower us to invite others into your kingdom.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Q4U: Do you ever get tired of waiting for Jesus?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you press on and joyfully wait for the Lord!