When an American President departs his office, it is quite a spectacle. You should have seen Jesus!
Acts 1:9 – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
When an American President departs from his Whitehouse office for the last time, it is considered a highly news-worthy event. All kinds of media are present for his final flight aboard Marine 1 to Airforce 1 to go to his new home. It makes international news. But on the day Jesus departed His earthly ministry to go to His seating on the right hand of Father, the viewers were really small in number, though He DID lead an enormous congregation with Him to His throne. Still, though there were few to attend His leaving celebration, His departure set the stage for a coming administration such as has NEVER been viewed by a presidential change. In fact, most people do not even remember the departure of the latest American President from his office. Consider what I write here.
The departure of Jesus for His throne some 40 days after His crucifixion was like no other departure of a leader in history. Following His resurrection, He had shown Himself alive and well to at least 500 eye-witnesses. He had appeared in locked rooms, opened eyes to revelation knowledge as had never before happened, and performed miracles of supply in a second draught of fish from the sea of Galilee. He had eaten with His disciples, been handled by them, and in the moments before His departure, given them final instructions of what to do before they entered the ministry He had established for them. He told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they would be endued with the power of Holy Spirit.
At that point, He entered no plane or earthly means of transportation, but was “taken up” by the power of God to the right hand of His Father. And in that being “taken up,” a “cloud received Him out of their sight.” My friend, a cloud as we see in the sky is an inanimate thing without life; it can receive NOTHING. For a cloud to “receive” something, it had to be a living cloud, and a living cloud it was. It was that “cloud of witnesses” that was comprised of the Old Testament saints He had liberated from Abraham’s bosom after His own resurrection. They were there, just above Him, awaiting His ascension to lead them to heaven. And lead them, He did.
And as He told them to tarry, 120 of them did indeed tarry. They waited to become the beginning of the church; and what a Beginning! They waited for and received the promise of the Father; what a Promise! They waited for the beginning of the mystery of Christ; and what a Mystery! They waited for the power of the Spirit; and what a Power! They had seen His departure; and what a Departure!
Manna for Today – Acts 1:1-11; Hebrews 12:1-3