For the next 40 days, the risen Savior again walked with his disciples. He served them breakfast on the shores of Galilee. He talked with them as he had before the darkness of Calvary split their world and time itself in two.
Then, finally they came to the Mount of Olives – the place where the final journey began weeks ago when Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem to shouts of hosanna. Now, a much smaller group gathered around anxiously. Their questions lingered in the air as Jesus ascended into the clouds. Was it finally the time? Would Jesus now establish the kingdom of God on earth?
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11 (ESV)
More than two thousand years later, the disciples’ question still lingers.
It screams above the roar of the hurricane.
It rumbles through the vibrations of the earthquake.
It flashes through the flames of the fire.
It crashes through the waves of the tsunami and howls above the wind of the tornado.
It whispers in the stillness of the intensive care unit and weeps at the graveside.
It waits in the darkness for the prodigal child.
Only the Father knows, and he has given this promise first to the disciples and now to us …
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (ESV)
And, there’s the hope of a greater promise to come. No matter what happens in the fallen world there will be a day of no more tears, no more death, no more crying and no more pain. There will be a day when God is with us and we are with him. Because he has risen, we will rise.
In that day, those who once were heartbroken, the ones who were lame, the ones who were washed away in the tsunami’s flood and crushed in the earthquake’s rumble will gather around the throne of the Creator. Countless voices will sing in countless languages to the one who brought healing from pain, life from death and peace from discord. Their voices will rise like the voices of angels to their deliverer, redeemer. Immanuel. God with us. Us with God. The lamb who was slain. The eternal one who stepped into time.