Appearances & The Ascension of Christ – 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:3-12

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
December 29, 2019

Appearances & The Ascension of Christ
1 Cor. 15:3-8, Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:3-12

Introduction

This morning we complete our study of the life of Christ in all four gospels in just 232 sermons over seven years. Perhaps that seems like a lot, but I am reminded of what John said as he concluded his account, 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25). There is so much more that could be said about Jesus that in some ways I feel like this was only just a brief overview. Even in combining all four gospel accounts, the material available is selective for each gospel writer had a particular purpose and people in mind as he wrote. (See: Introduction to the Gospels)

Matthew wrote first about A.D. 50. He wrote to Jewish people to demonstrate that Jesus is King for He is the promised Messiah who fulfilled the prophecies about Him. There is some debate whether Luke or Mark were written next since their order is reversed among some of the early church fathers. The educated guess is that Luke wrote about A.D. 58-60 and Mark about A.D. 60. Mark wrote to Romans with the theme that Jesus is the Son of God with an emphasis on Jesus’ power and authority. Recall from my sermon a couple of weeks ago that Mark used five different synonyms for “amaze” 19 times in 16 chapters to describe the reaction of people to the things Jesus did and taught. Mark ends his account with the women being so amazed at Jesus’ resurrection that they are left speechless. (See: The Conclusion of Mark). John was the last gospel account written probably in the late 80’s as a supplement to the other gospel accounts with a purpose that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).

This morning we will be looking at the conclusion of Luke. He wrote to a Greek man he calls Theophilus – lover of God – to give him a chronological account of Jesus’ life so that he might know the exact truth about the things he had been taught (Luke 1:1-4). Luke emphasizes that Jesus is the perfect Son of Man who came to seek and save sinful men (Luke 19:10). Luke records Jesus’ ascension in both his gospel account and in the book of Acts.

Post-Resurrection Appearances1 Corinthians 15:3–8

Before we examine the conclusion of Luke, let me quickly give you the consecutive order of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. Paul gives a summary of Jesus’ major appearances in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. 3 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the first as Jesus’ tomb the morning of His resurrection. They saw an angel and heard his announcement that Jesus had risen from the dead just as He said, but they did not see Jesus at that time. The other women arrived soon after, and Mary left to tell the disciples what she saw. The other women then also saw angels in Jesus’ tomb and heard the announcement about Jesus’ resurrection. After hearing from Mary, Peter and John ran to Jesus’ tomb which they found empty with Jesus’ grave clothes lying there with the face cloth rolled up by itself. Peter ponders what he had seen while John believes. Mary then came back to the tomb and she is the first to see the physically resurrected Jesus after which she went back to report this to the disciples. Jesus then appeared to the other women somewhere in Jerusalem or back near the tomb after they had reported about the angel to the disciples. (See: The Resurrection of Jesus)

The first men to see the resurrected Jesus were Cleopas and Simon as they walked to Emmaus with a stranger who explained the prophecies concerning the Messiah, but they did not recognize Jesus until after they had arrived at Emmaus. They returned to Jerusalem where Jesus suddenly revealed Himself to the disciples who had gathered together in a closed room. Eight days later Jesus suddenly appeared to them again in the same place though the doors had been shut, however, this time Thomas was also with them. (See: On the Road to Emmaus & Overcoming Unbelief)

Jesus told the disciples He would meet them in Galilee where some days later He met with seven of them on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after Peter had become impatient and had gone fishing with six of the others joining him. Jesus gave them another miracle of catching a large amount of fish and then feeding them all breakfast from one fish before restoring Peter to ministry. John’s gospel account ends there. (See: Waiting on Jesus & Do You Love Jesus? & Following Jesus). After this Jesus appears to the eleven disciples and the others that had gathered on a mountain in Galilee. Jesus gives the Great Commission there which concludes Matthew’s account. (See: The Great Commission: Overview). This may have also been where Jesus appeared to the more than 500 that Paul mentions, or if Paul was giving a strict chronology, that occurred in or near Jerusalem in the eight days between Jesus’ first appearance to the apostles and His second appearance to them when Thomas was also present. That would also put His appearance to His half brother, James, during that time period (1 Corinthians 15:6-7). Paul also mentions Jesus appearing to him which is recorded in Act 9 and is a much later time after Jesus’ ascension. Luke summarizes the period after Jesus’ resurrection in Acts 1:3 recording that to the apostles 3 “. . . He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”

Last Instructions in LukeLuke 24:44–49; Acts 1:3-5

We now come to Luke’s record of Jesus’ final post-resurrection appearance and His ascension. They have returned to Jerusalem and Jesus gives them these instructions before leading them out to the Mount of Olives. 44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Some commentators want to place this as occurring on the evening of Jesus’ resurrection while others regard it as simply as different account of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. However, there are enough significant differences that it is fairly obvious that this is a different occasion from either of those two events. The connective particle Luke uses (dev / de) indicates a sequence but not a time frame. What is said is premature for Jesus’ first appearance since Thomas was not present, and its concluding command to remain in “the city” (Jerusalem) is remote from being said while on a mountain in Galilee.

Jesus begins by referring back to the teaching He had given them on previous occasions about His fulfillment of all that was in the Scriptures concerning Him. He specifically points out that this was done “while I was still with you,” indicating that there had been a radical change since His resurrection. Jesus was in their physical presence, but He no longer “dwelt among” them (John 1:14) for He had received His glorified body. He uses the three Jewish divisions of the Hebrew scriptures, “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” since prophecies concerning the Messiah occur in all of them and Jesus had fulfilled them. This was the same thing He had done with Cleopas and Simon on the road to Emmaus. I detailed many of the prophecies He would have pointed out in that sermon. (See: On the Road to Emmaus)

Verse 45 comments that Jesus “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” That is a significant comment for it points out the necessity of God’s actions to give a human understanding of spiritual things. As Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 2:14, The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” These men knew the Scriptures well, but they had been taught an understanding of the coming of Messiah as a conquering king that precluded them understanding the many other prophecies about Him coming as a suffering servant that would redeem man from His sins. That same problem exists today among both those who are religious and those who are not. Those with atheistic beliefs arrogantly and foolishly claim there is no God so they are blinded to the truth of God proclaimed in both Creation and His revealed word, the Bible. Agnostics are at least humble enough to admit that they do not know, but they usually close their minds to seek to know, and often in pride claim that others cannot know either since they don’t know. Those in false religions and cults are blinded by their belief system to be able to know the truth (2 Cor. 4:4-6). It takes the Spirit of God to quicken our minds to enlighten them to understand and believe what God has revealed (1 Cor. 2:10-12; Eph. 1:17-18).

Jesus specifically points out to them that the Scriptures reveled that the Christ would suffer and rise again the third day. Jesus told them this on many prior occasions, but they did not believe it until they physically saw Him raised from the dead. Now they would understand the prophecies concerning the atonement.

He also reinforced the essential element of God’s message to man – “the repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations.” It would begin in Jerusalem for salvation is to the Jew first (Romans 1:16) since they are chosen by God to be His people who would proclaim Him and His praise to all people (Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 43:21), but the message of salvation is to go out in the name of Jesus the Messiah to all nations (e]qhnoV / ethnos – every ethnic group). Notice as well that the message is that of repentance that brings forgiveness of sins. The repentance (metavnoia / metanoia) referred to here is a change of mind that results in a change of thought and attitude toward sin and righteousness that results in a change of life. It is a change of mind about sin, self and the Savior. Before a person is convicted by the Holy Spirit and regenerated, sin is considered as just the common human condition of not being perfect and therefore by most not any big deal; self is considered to be good enough or at least capable of being good enough; and the Savior thought of as being just a good moral example. Repentance recognizes that sin is a big deal for it brings God’s just and holy judgment and condemnation to eternal hell; self is convicted of sin and recognizes that no good works can attain righteousness before God; the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is recognized as the only means of salvation from sin and its condemnation through the redemption price paid by Jesus’ death by which He offers forgiveness and imputation of righteousness to all who will place their faith in Him. Jesus called people to repent from the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 4:17), and He tells His followers here that it was to be their continuing message. The apostles were faithful in doing so as seen throughout Acts (2:38 – 26:20) and the Epistles (Romans 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:9-10; 2 Peter 3:9). A gospel message which does not include this call to repentance is a deficient gospel for salvation cannot occur without repentance – a change of mind in order to believe. Tragically, such gospels are now common.

Jesus points out to them that they were “witnesses of these things.” 1 John 1:1-3 begins with an affirmation that what he had heard, seen and touched concerning the Word of Life, he was proclaiming to them. While none of us are eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life on earth then, those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior are witnesses to the truth of God’s word concerning Jesus and the actions of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. We are living witnesses of Jesus abiding in us. Our message to others then is the same as theirs.

In verse 49 Jesus concludes with instructions for them to wait in the city, a reference to Jerusalem, until the Father’s promise would be fulfilled when they would be clothed (ejnduvw / endu – endowed) with power from on high, a reference to heaven. Luke gives further detail in Acts 1:4-5, 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” This would occur on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit filled them and those who had been cowering in the Upper Room in fear began to boldly proclaim the mighty deeds of God regardless of the threats made against them and the persecution they would suffer.

Pentecostals and Charismatics place a large emphasis upon the speaking in tongues that occurs in Acts 2 claiming that it is the sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. While that occurred in Acts 2 when the arrival of the Holy Spirit came upon them, it was what they said and not the language in which they said it that was the actual sign they were baptized by the Holy Spirit. Throughout the rest of Acts and even in the epistles, it is the bold proclamation of the gospel message that is a demonstration that the individual has been washed and cleansed by the Holy Spirit and made into a new creature who is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore will proclaim the good news for forgiveness of sins in His name to others. Speaking in tongues was also done by the pagans and those who were false Christians who actually blasphemed Jesus while speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 12:2-3). It must also be pointed out that every true believer in Jesus Christ is baptized by the Holy Spirit upon salvation according to 1 Corinthians 12:13, and according to Romans 8:9, if you do not have the Spirit Christ, then you do not belong to Him. 1 Corinthians 12 is also clear that every spiritual gift is distributed to the individual as the Spirit desires and is a manifestation of the Spirit.

Final Instructions Luke 24:50a; Acts 1:6–8

After Jesus gives them the instructions recorded in Luke 24:44-49, the first phrase of verse 50 records, “And He led them out as far as Bethany.” Bethany is on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. It is the town in which Lazarus, Martha and Mary lived and where Jesus and the disciples had stayed the week prior to His crucifixion. Either as they are going or when they arrived, the disciples ask Jesus a final question which is recorded in Acts 1:6-9. 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

This is a very logical question to ask, for they were actively looking for the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. Jesus had pointed out to them the prophecies concerning the Messiah He had fulfilled, but they knew the ones that were still to be fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled the requirement of being the greater son of David, the Messiah, by His blood lineage through His mother Mary, and His royal right to David’s throne as the supposed son (adopted son) of Joseph. However, they also knew that the Messiah would eventually establish Himself on David’s throne to rule. They also knew Daniel 7 and its prophecy of a time in the future when the Son of Man would come and set up an everlasting dominion. They would have also remembered the various prophecies of various prophets about a future restoration of the nation of Israel. One of the events accompanying this restoration was the Holy Spirit being poured out on His people (Joel 2:28-32; Ezek. 36:22f) which Jesus had just told them to anticipate while they waited in Jerusalem. Jesus had also given them several teachings concerning a future kingdom including the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13) and His warnings to be in readiness for the return of the Son of Man (Matt. 24,25; Luke 12:35-48; 17:20-37). It is reasonable then that they would want to know if the coming of the Holy Spirit to baptize them would be the starting point for the various events that would then restore the kingdom to Israel. This is what they had hoped for from the time they first began to follow Jesus.

Jesus’ answer is not what they would have expected, but it is a good reminder to them and us to keep our priorities straight. “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

This is an intriguing answer because there are so many ways Jesus could have answered it. He could have just said, “no, not yet.” He could have said, “no, but it is the start of the last dispensation before the kingdom is restored” with some sort of explanation either brief or extensive. He could have given a detailed explanation of all that would happen from that point to eternity. If they had been wrong in their expectation of a future restored Kingdom, we can be sure that Jesus would have corrected them. But there is no correction on their expectations. There is only a very mild rebuke that they were not to be concerned about the timing of the restoration of the kingdom. God would take care of that according to His own plan. They were to be focused on the priority at hand which was being His witnesses once they had received power when Holy Spirit would come upon them.

It is important to note that Jesus had previously given them specific details about signs concerning His Second Coming and the end of the age (Mt. 24; Luke 12; etc.). Jesus had also admonished them to “be on the alert” (Mt. 24:42; 25:13; Mk13:33). Why then this response that it was not for them “to know times or the epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority“?

The specific rebuke here was given to men that had previously shown they were out of balance in looking for the restoration of the Kingdom. They had been jealous of each other about what position they would have in that kingdom (Luke 22:24) with two of them even bringing their mother to talk to Jesus about giving them thrones on the right and left of Jesus (Matthew 20:20-24). This mild rebuke quickly put an end to any future squabbling among them about who would be the greatest in the kingdom.

Another consideration is that time, (crovnoV / chronos), is a general reference to time usually in regard to its course or span. From it we get our words “chronology,” the sequencing of events in time, and “chronometer,”which we usually refer to as a clock. The sense here in Acts 1:7 is spans of time. “Epochs” or “seasons,” (kairovV / kairos), carries the idea of a decisive moment or point and encompasses the events and characteristics of the period in which related events occur. We use the words epoch, era or season to signify periods of time marked by certain characteristics. Summer is the season when it is hot. Winter is the season when it is cold. The “Victorian Era” refers the characteristics of English society during the reign of Queen Victoria. Both words are used in Acts 1:7 joining the ideas to signify that God by His own authority has fixed when future events will take place and the length and characteristics of future eras. Some general things can be known about the future, but not the specifics. All of those belong to God just as the secret things have always belonged to God (Deut. 29:29). Jesus does not want His disciples to be concerned about those things, but rather to keep the priority of the commands He is giving to them to be His witnesses.

There is a good principle for us to apply in our own lives here. Sometimes it is easy to fall into majoring on the minors and spend a lot of time and energy on things that are relatively unimportant. We also fall into the trap of trying to figure out things God has chosen not to reveal to us. That is not bad in itself necessarily for Proverbs 25:2 tells us that “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” However, if that is being done to the neglect of the priorities that God has already given us, then you are in the wrong.

The final instructions that Jesus gave them before His ascension was to remind them of the priority of their proper mission after they received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them which, as I already mentioned, would occur on the day of Pentecost which would be about a week from then. They were to be His “witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” A witness is simply someone who reports what they have personally experienced. The apostles had lived with Jesus. They had heard Him with their own ears, seen Him their own eyes and touched with their own hands. They were to tell others about Jesus and what He taught about God. So many of the early Christians were put to death for their witness of Christ that the word for witness here, mavrturoV / marturos – martyr, came to mean one who is put to death because of their beliefs.

The book of Acts can actually be outlined by the sequence of Jesus’ instructions here. Acts 1:1-8:3 is Witnesses in Jerusalem. The church is established and begins to grow. Acts 8:4-12:25 is Witnesses in Samaria & Judea. The church begins to spread out even in the midst of increasing persecution. Acts 13:1-28:31 is Witnesses to the Remotest Part of the Earth. The missionary journeys of Paul which took the gospel through Asia minor, Macedonia and Greece, and then all the way to Rome.

All Christians continue to have the same basic mission. We are to serve our Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit and be His witnesses in our own community, our surrounding communities and beyond.

The Ascension of ChristLuke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9

After Jesus answers their question giving this final instruction to be His witnesses, Luke 24:50b-53 records, 50b “and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” Luke writes in Acts 1:9, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

The practice of lifting hands to give a blessing is first recorded in Leviticus 9:22 when Aaron did so in blessing the children of Israel after making the offerings for the people. No doubt the practice goes back farther than this and would be related to placing your hand on someone to bless them such as Israel did when blessing the sons of Joseph in Genesis 48. If there are more than two, you simply cannot put your hands on all of them, so you lift your hands before them to pronounce a blessing. Such a blessing would be a prayer for them and those recorded in the Scriptures were often prophetic of what would happen in the future. It is as Jesus is doing this that He is lifted up and is carried up into heaven.

In Jesus’ previous post-resurrection appearances He would simply vanish indicating a major difference between His pre-crucifixion body and His post-resurrection body. It was physical, but with radically different capabilities. This time, Jesus does not just vanish. He has a physical departure which they can see and which they watch until He was too far away and enters the clouds and cannot be seen anymore. Sort of like watching a balloon you might release into the sky.

Jesus had come from heaven and by the power of the Holy Spirit in the conception of Mary and was born into this world as a physical baby. The second person of the triune God took on physical humanity. Jesus left this physical world in a physical body by the power of God to return to heaven. It is a very different physical body, but it is nevertheless a physical body. The meaning of this is powerful. While we do not understand the inter-relationship between the physical and the spiritual worlds, the reality of both and a relationship between them is affirmed because Jesus’ physical ascension into heaven proves He exists in both worlds. It also affirms our own hope in Jesus’ promises. His departure was necessary for the coming of the Holy Spirit and the ministries He currently has on earth (John 16:7). Jesus is now in heaven preparing a place for those who are His disciples (John 14:2-3). He is also currently making intercession for us with the Father (Hebrews 7:25). And though we are spiritual beings that exist in our current physical bodies, Jesus’ resurrection and ascension assure us that some day our bodies will be radically changed allowing our spiritual nature to not be so limited by them. And though we do not understand what we shall be, we know that we shall be like Jesus, for we shall see Him just as He is (1 John 3:2).

Promise of Return Acts 1:10-11

Acts 1:10-11 records what happened to the disciples as they watched Jesus ascend into heaven.“And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

The disciples watched Jesus ascend into the sky and enter into a cloud where they could not see Him anymore and then stood there gazing. Perhaps in just the sheer astonishment of what they had just witnessed. Perhaps in the hope of one last glimpse. Perhaps for both reasons. While they still are still gazing – intensely staring – into the sky, two angels come and give this wonderful promise that still belongs to us. “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Jesus is coming back. That is a cause of great joy, hope and motivation for the Christian, but that same promise is a cause of fear for the non-Christian (Matthew 25:31-46).

Revelation 1:7 prophesies, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.” Revelation 22:12-15 adds Jesus’ promise, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward [is] with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. That will mean blessings for the righteous, but judgment for the unrighteous.

For the Christian, this hope motivates us to holiness. Paul explained it this way in Titus 2:11-14. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

Jesus instructed His disciples to be alert for His return for they did not know the day or the hour when it would happen (Matt. 24:42,44; 25:13; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:39,40). The apostles called believers to be ready for the Lord’s return. In Romans 13:11-14 Paul said it was already the hour to awaken for salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is almost gone and the day is at hand so we are to lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the Lord Jesus Christ while making no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. In 1 Corinthians 1:7 and In Philippians 3:20-21 Paul tells us we should be eagerly waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our bodies. Peter says we are to be looking for and hastening the day of God (2 Peter 3:12). James 5:9 describes Him as a judge who is standing right at the door.

Luke 24:52-53 concludes with the disciples response to all that they had experienced. 52 “And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.” That is to be our response as well to all that we have learned about Jesus and come to believe about Him and His promises to us. We are to worship Him and continually praise Him for He is worthy. Jesus is the Lord and Savior, the proof of God’s love, the redeemer and guarantee of forgiveness for sin and a place in heaven with Him forever for all who believe.

The two questions that remain are: What do you believe about Jesus? And are you looking for the blessed hope of His return? What you believe about Jesus will determine your eternal future, and how consistent you are in living according to your belief will determine the nature of your anticipation of His return. The apostles lived in expectation that Jesus would return in their life time, and though He has delayed, we are certainly closer to it now than they were then, and it could be anytime now. Are you ready? What will Jesus find in your life when He returns? Are you pursuing holiness? Will His return bring you joy, shame or His condemnation? If it is not joy, then talk with me or one of our church leaders after the service and find out how you can anticipate the return of Jesus Christ with joy. The New Year is a great time to make the changes in your life that will make the promised return of Jesus Christ a joyful expectation.

Sermon Notes – December 29, 2019
Appearances & The Ascension of Christ – 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Luke 24:44-53, Acts 1:3-12

Introduction – 232 sermons over 7 years

Matthew ~ A.D. 50. To the Jews. Jesus is the king, the promised ________. Emphasis on fulfilled prophecy

Mark ~ A.D. 60. To the Romans. Jesus is the Son of God. Emphasis on His __________teaching & miracles

John ~ late 80’s. To all. A gospel supplement. That you may _______that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God

Luke ~ 58-60. To a Greek. ______________. Jesus is the perfect Son of Man who came to save sinners

Post-Resurrection Appearances1 Corinthians 15:3–8

At Jesus’ tomb: Angels; _______Magdalene & the other Mary; the other women, Peter & John, Mary again

Saw Jesus: _________Magdalene; the other women; Cleopas & Simon; most of disciples; all the disciples

Saw Jesus: 7 disciples at Sea of Galilee; All disciples on a mountain in __________; ? 500+, James; Paul

Last Instructions in LukeLuke 24:44–49; Acts 1:3-5

Not on the day of the resurrection or in Galilee, but in ______________just prior to the Ascension

Jesus refers back to His previous teaching ______His resurrection which was in fulfillment of the Scriptures

God must ______the minds of people to both believe and to understand & not be blinded by previous beliefs

Their _______________beliefs had made them resistant to believing Jesus would and did rise from the dead

The gospel message begins in Jerusalem because salvation is to the ____first, then the Gentiles (Rom. 1:16)

The message would be ___________(change of mind resulting in a change of life) for the forgiveness of sin

Repentance is a radical ___________of mind about sin, self and the Savior

They were eye _____________to Jesus’ life and teaching (1 John 1:1-3)

They were to wait in the city (Jerusalem) until they were endowed with _________from on high – Acts 1:4-5

This occurs at __________~ a week later – when the Holy Spirit fills them & they become bold in preaching

The evidence of the Holy Spirit upon them was their ____________, not tongues by which it communicated

Pagans speak in tongues; false believers blaspheme in tongues; ___________are baptized by the Holy Spirit

Final Instructions Luke 24:50a; Acts 1:6–8

Bethany is on the eastern slope of the Mount of _________- where Jesus had stayed prior to His crucifixion

A logical question because they had a reasonable expectation for the Messianic __________to be established

Jesus’ intriguing answer is a _____________of focus without correction

The mild rebuke that it was not for them to know the times and epochs put an end to their ____________

Time, (crovnoV / chronos), is a general reference to its course or span – _____________, Chronometer (clock)

Epochs / seasons (kairovV / kairos) refers to time __________ marked by particular characteristics

_______ determines when future events will take place and the length and characteristics of future eras

The principle applies to us to keep God’s ____________ and avoid majoring on minor issues

They were to tell others what they had __________ seen & learned from Jesus.

The book of _____is outlined by their following Jesus’ command – Jerusalem Judea Samaria World

Our mission is to be _________of what Jesus had done in our own lives in our own community and beyond

The Ascension of ChristLuke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9

Lifting hands was a common practice in pronouncing a _________ on a group – Leviticus 9:22

Jesus does not suddenly vanish as He had previously, but ___________ slowly until He is out of sight

God is a spirit but Jesus became a physical man – and His glorified body retains ___________characteristics

Jesus’ _________allowed the Holy Spirit to come. He is now preparing a place & making intercession for us

We are spiritual beings existing in physical bodies which one day will be __________to be like Jesus is now

Promise of Return Acts 1:10-11

While they ___________into the sky – in sheer astonishment? Hoping for a last glimpse? – two angels came

Jesus will _________in the same way in which He departed – hope for the Christian – fear for the unbeliever

Revelation 1:7; 22:12-15 – He will bring ___________for the righteous and judgment for the unrighteous

Titus 2:11-14 – a motivation to live in _____________

We are to be _____and always ready for Jesus’ return (Matt. 24:42,44; 25:13; Rom. 13:11-14; Phil. 3:20-21

Luke 24:52-53 – the disciples responded with ______, joy and praise of God. That is also to be our response

What do you ________? Are you ready? What will Jesus’ return bring to you: joy, shame or condemnation?

KIDS KORNER
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents what Jesus’ return will mean for you and them.

THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Describe the intended audience and purpose of each of the four gospel accounts. Trace the sequence of who saw Jesus after His resurrection. Where and when does Luke 24:44-49 take place. Explain. What is the significance of Jesus pointing out what He had taught them “while I was still with you” when He is currently in their presence? Why was it necessary for their minds to be opened? Why is that still necessary? Why did the gospel message begin in Jerusalem? What is repentance as used in Luke 24:47? Why does that repentance result in forgiveness of sin? Why do so many “evangelists” avoid talking about repentance and why is that dangerous? Of what were the disciples witnesses? What does it mean to be a witness? Of what are Christians to witness about in our own time? When were they “clothed with power from on high” and what was the manifestation of it? Why are Pentecostals and Charismatics wrong about speaking in tongues being the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Read 1 Corinthians 12-14. What other groups speak in tongues? What might false converts do when speaking in tongues in a church? What does Paul say is a manifestation of the Spirit? What are the actual evidences that a person is spiritual – controlled by the Holy Spirit? Where is Bethany? Why would they ask Jesus if it was at that time He would be restoring the kingdom to Israel? Jesus neither corrected them nor answered their question – what did He do instead? What does “time” refer to? What do “epochs” refer to? What does Jesus say their priority (and our priority) to be? How was that carried out in the book of Acts? What is the significance of Jesus physical ascension into heaven? What is Jesus doing there now? What did the angels reveal to them about Jesus’ return? What was their response to all of this? Why is the promise of Jesus’ return a blessing for believers and a curse for unbelievers? What do you believe about Jesus? Are you ready for His return? If not, what do you need to do to get ready?


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