This is a devotional concerning Jesus the day He left and how he may come back. The same Jesus Who fed the multitudes, made the blind to see, and calmed the storm left His disciples standing on a mountain as He disappeared into a cloud. This cloud pictured above was over our house one day and I grabbed my camera, nothing to compare with what is to come but, all the same, “breathtaking”!!! I took this picture when our roof was in disrepair from a storm. We may be in “disrepair,” too, but He will still come!
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:1
It had to be breathtaking. He was there talking to them and then He lifted off the ground and rose before their eyes disappearing into a cloud. These men of Galilee had already had their breath taken away over and over just in the last forty days. The empty tomb. Jesus fully restored, scars in hands and feet. Jesus appearing through a closed door. Jesus at the seashore making breakfast. Now Jesus gives them last instructions–and disappears into a cloud!
They stared upward, shading their eyes, still trying to catch a glimpse of His robe, his scarred feet. This man Jesus had eaten with them, slept with them, walked long miles with them, and talked long hours, wept and laughed with them. Even knowing now that He is the Son of God, the resurrected Savior, they can’t fathom how it has come to this–that He can just leave them all standing up on this hill.
Can you imagine the stillness? “Jesus blessed them,” Luke says, “and while He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.” I imagine there was no sound after His dear voice faded away.
But then–“two men dressed in white stood beside them.” Before those trembling disciples even had time to take in what has happened, before the shock set in, there were messengers straight from the Lord Himself. Later they will remember and try to follow Jesus’ every instruction, to be His witnesses around the world, but right now they need comforting. Right now they need to know this one big wonderful fact: Jesus will come back the same way He left. They don’t know when but they know He will return.
The same is true for us today. We don’t know when. But we know He is coming. And because of that don’t we, too, need to follow His instructions to be witnesses? Have you yet imagined what it may be like when He comes down through the clouds “the same way” He left? “The dead in Christ will rise first,” according to Paul in I Thessalonians 4:16, and then those believers who are still alive will be “caught up with them in the clouds.” (17) We don’t know which of those groups we’ll be in, the dead in Christ, or those still alive, but if we’ve trusted in Jesus and Him alone to save us, we will be in one of those groups. Wow! Talk about breathtaking!
Lord, I look forward to That Day!