This Same Jesus…
The events of the preceding days had been anything but ordinary. Their beloved Master had been betrayed, roughly seized and brutally handled. He had been subjected to multiple trials that were a mockery of justice by anyone’s reckoning. He had been insulted and shamed. He was scourged. That terrible whip with several thongs laced with bits of sharp bone, metal or glass was slammed down upon his stripped body and dragged across Him leaving His flesh terribly torn and bleeding. Then the heavy cross was laid upon Him, which in His exhaustion and pain He bore as best He could, eventually falling under its weight. And upon that cross He hung in agony on Golgotha until His great heart beat its last and He was laid in the tomb. Following His death, the minutes seemed like hours and the hours like weeks as time crawled by for His grief-stricken disciples. But not all the power of Rome or Israel…not the unbelief of His disciples…not all the plans of the Devil and his fiends…not even the mighty Death and Hades…could prevent His coming alive again. Praise God! The glorious dawn of that Sunday morning surely came, and His tomb was found empty! Over a period of forty days Jesus appeared to His disciples, teaching and encouraging them… showing them beyond the shadow of any doubt…that not only was He was indeed alive from the dead but that never again would He die!
Then, according to Acts (1:9-11), while the disciples were watching, Jesus was taken up before their very eyes. They stood there for a time staring up into the sky as if waiting for Him to re-appear. And that was when heaven’s messengers told them, in effect, “You mustn’t remain here looking upward. This same Jesus Who has been taken from you will come back in the same way you have seen Him leave.”
I have been thinking about how very glad I am that those two messengers said, “This same Jesus…will come back…” Fellow believers, not only is One coming back…but it is our Jesus Who is coming back. Yes…He will come with the power and the glory. Yes…He will come to judge the world in righteousness. But it will be the same Jesus Who held and blessed the little children. It will be the same Jesus Who modeled such love and devotion for His Father God. It will be the same Jesus Who loved and searched for lost souls…the same Jesus Who took such delight in the little flock into whose hands He delivered the Father’s kingdom…the same Jesus Who emptied Himself for others…the same Jesus Who lived to intercede for others…the same Jesus Who girded Himself with a towel, took the water basin and washed the filthy feet of the self-conscious disciples who were too proud to lower themselves to such depths…the same Jesus Who ever and only spoke truth, boldly, yet in kindness and with love…the same Jesus Who looked upon the multitudes with such longing and compassion. All the centuries that have passed since He lived among us, have not changed Him. The heavenly and royal life He lives there at Father God’s right hand has not turned His heart from us. I am glad that it is He Who comes for us who have loved His appearing.
Tell me, if you can spare the time, why you are glad this same Jesus is coming back.