When Luke (the historian!) records that Jesus was taken up in a cloud this detail is not incidental. Indeed, it's crucial to understanding the wonder of the Ascension. Because cloud in Scripture means several things.
Particularly, GLORY. Right through the Bible, cloud speaks of the glory of God. The pillar of fire and cloud leading Israel from Egypt; thick cloud and lightning on Mr. Sinai; the cloud dwelling over the Tabernacle; and. especially, enveloping cloud on the Mt. of Transfiguration revealing the glory and presence of God breaking through in the ministry of Jesus.
At the Ascension, at the end of Jesus' resurrection appearances he is swathed again in cloud. In the splendour of God's presence he is accepted back into the glory which he left when the world's most amazing journey began as God's son was degraded to birth in a stable. Jesus is back where he belongs sharing the glory of God in three persons. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, back in control, sovereign. And we can claim: He ascended into heaven that he might fill all things. That at the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and things the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.'. (Phil 2:10,11).
Because of the cloud of glory we can call Jesus by his right name. Not mighty prophet, not good religious teacher, not remarkable human being but Son of God who lives and reigns with God the Father and God the Spirit before all time, now and for ever.
And there's more....
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
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