Can you imagine the reception for Jesus when He led the captives into heaven?
Acts 1:11 – Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Take a moment to re-read our Text for Today. There are certain key phrases with which I want to deal today. The phrases are “this same Jesus,” and “come again in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.” There is also a phrase I wish to address along with these from Acts 1:9: ”a cloud received Him.” And one more phrase from John 14:3 where Jesus said that He would “receive you unto Myself.”
“this same Jesus” – there is no other. There is ONLY ONE LORD, ONE KING of KINGS, ONE REDEEMER. And that ONE is JESUS! He is our Savior, Lord, Healer, Provider, Deliverer, and Eldest Brother. He is the Head of the Body of Christ, the Church.
“come again in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” – How did He ascend up? He was taken up by the Spirit of God in His glorified body to assume His new position of ministry on the right hand of Father as the Head of the Church, as King of kings and Lord of lords. And there He will remain until His enemies are become His footstool.
“a cloud received Him” – and what was that cloud? A natural cloud we see in the skies above us is an inanimate object, and being inanimate, can receive nothing. A true recipient must be a living being. So, what was the living being that received our ascending Lord? On the date of His ascension, it was the vast number of Old Testament saints who had been kept captive in Abraham’s bosom until their redeemer came to take “captivity captive.” These were the Old Testament saints who had been seen alive in Jerusalem AFTER Jesus’ resurrection during the days before His ascension. That was “the cloud” that received Jesus out of the sight of those who looked on from the Mount of Olives.
“receive you unto Myself” – there will be a change. When Jesus returns for His Church, it won’t be for us (as a cloud of witnesses) to receive Him, but He will be receiving us. And in that receiving, we then being in our glorified bodies, joining the dead in Christ who have risen first, we will be received by Him. He will receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there we may be, also, and we shall be received as a part of that great cloud of glorified saints joining our Lord in heaven for the marriage supper of the Lamb. And what a reception!
Manna for Today – Acts 1:1-11; John 14:3