There are times when I am reading the Scriptures that I feel sorry for the apostles. It seems that Jesus’ life and ministry is one amazing event after another. I do not know how they managed to retain their sanity in amongst all the happenings! Today we celebrate another one of these events, namely the Ascension. Jesus has just risen from the dead and if that is not enough He now ascends into heaven in front of what must have been a most astonished gathering of His disciples. I doubt that there is much anyone could have done to prepare him or her self for such an event!
What on earth, pardon the pun, does this last event of Jesus earthly life mean. In John’s Gospel, Jesus has been trying to prepare His disciples for this event by assuring them that He will send another advocate to be with them, namely the Holy Spirit. Part of the reason for Jesus’ return to the Father seems to be that when they are together, and only then, will they send the Holy Spirit to be with us. If this is the case then it is certainly a good thing that Jesus returns to be with His Father.
Jesus’ mission is complete. It is now time for us to enter into a new era of grace that is marked by the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. From a particular perspective, we can see that the Old Testament is focused upon the work of God the Father in preparing a people for the coming of the Messiah, His Son. The New Testament times are focused upon the coming of Jesus, His ministry and death and resurrection. After Jesus’ ascension to the Father we are now focused upon the work of the Holy Spirit drawing each of us into relationship with the Father and the Son. Three persons of the Trinity and three quite different eras in which God works with His people!
Am I truly a person of the Spirit? Does my life truly reflect the truth that the Holy Spirit is at work in me drawing me deeper into relationship with the Father and the Son?
Jesus, you had your own mission to accomplish and you have done it perfectly. I pray that I will always be faithful to what you ask me to do as I participate in the ongoing mission of the Church under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.