I’m no good at goodbyes. I know it is difficult for any of us to part with a loved one exiting this life. But I struggle with saying farewell to people, pets, television shows, favorite teachers, and even seasons. After returning home from the hospital with my first child, my mother stayed a week with us. When she left, I cried—and she only lived twenty minutes away from me. But in today’s passage, there is a parting I would like to have witnessed. For it was the most incredible goodbye in all of history.
- Is it hard for you to say goodbye? What comes to mind when you think of the Ascension?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 24:50-53 (ESV)
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Jesus had just given his last words to the disciples. In verse 50, what was Jesus’ last act toward the disciples?
- The disciples did not see Jesus rise out of the grave, but they did witness him ascend into heaven. How might this have impacted their confidence in Jesus as Messiah and King?
- What words in the passage indicate the disciples’ response to Jesus’ ascension? Why do you think they were joyful instead of sad at this goodbye?
- Does your acknowledgement of God’s power and ultimate plan affect how you live your daily life? What about your response to saying goodbye—to a person, a job, a dream? How does this passage change or solidify your vision of Jesus?
RESPOND TO GOD
This supernatural event must have been quite a sight to behold. But the joy the disciples experienced that day was not just a result of witnessing an astonishing event. Their delight came as a result of a new understanding of their God—a fresh display of Christ’s glory. And so they worshiped. They met the activities of the day with praise. They continued showing gratitude day-to-day. They waited for Christ’s return with joy. They lived differently. They lived a resurrection lifestyle.
- Pray to have a fresh encounter with Jesus. Ask God to reveal more of himself to you.
- Then make time to see and hear his response. Pray that a life of expectant joy and gratitude will be the result.