Notes for Talk on Ascension Sunday @ Twerton Fellowship


Readings

Luke 24 50-52

50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.

 Acts 1:1-11

1 In my first book[a] I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with[b] water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Ascension of Jesus

6 So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”  7 He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

 

Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Wisdom

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called-his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.[g]

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else-not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

 

 The Talk

Paul in Ephesians said

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.

 

            What did he want us to understand?

 

He wanted the believers in Ephesus, and us of course, to understand just what had happened, what God  had done.

When Christ died and rose

 

            What does that mean?

 

It means that the power which did that for Jesus can do it for us

Jesus was raised from the dead as seen by his disciples over 40 days.

 

Jesus had explained to them about Gods kingdom again during this time

Then he ascended back to heaven where He came from.

This was done in the presence of His followers

 

            Why is this so important?

 

If Jesus did not die and did not raise from the dead and then ascend back to heaven then he would not be God as He said He was.

That means that we are not following God but just a man.

It was also important that his followers saw this ascension and could report it so they knew what the future had for them as well

 

  • What is your faith based on?

Is it based on what your family or culture told you?

Is it based on the church you attend?

Is it based on Gods word?

Is it based on Faith in Jesus whom the prophets talked about ?

 

For the disciples it became the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, the fulfillment of prophesy, something they had been a part of

Some of these prophesies

  – Micah 5 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,     are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,     whose origins are in the distant past,     will come from you on my behalf.

–  Isaiah 7 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

 – Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice[b] for my clothing.

 – 2 Samuel 7 12 For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. 13 He is the one who will build a house-a temple-for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever.

– Isaiah 53

2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
3 He was despised and rejected- a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

 

  • So what is your faith based on?

 

Is it based on what your family or culture told you?

Is it based on the church you attend?

Is it based on Gods word?

Is it based on Faith in Jesus whom the prophets talked about ?

 

            Is your heart given to Jesus, will you serve Him?

 

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

 

Are you still standing staring blankly into the sky?

Wondering what or who God is and what He wants for you?

 

Jesus has ascended to be with the Father as He said He would.

We are to “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

We are to serve the risen ascended Jesus in the power of the spiritual gifts we receive

Not just stand around looking, but acting

From a song by J Waller  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhaadvMYk_k

 

The Ascension of Christ after His death and resurrection show us He is who He said He was, God.

God left us with a command and a promise.

The Promise came true with the arrival of the Holy Spirit which brings us Gods gifts to share with others.

We have to follow the command which will Bringing praise and glory to His name.

 

 

Let us pray

 

 

 

 

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