Where is Jesus?
Who [Jesus Christ] is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him (1Peter 3:22) There is a vast structure of angels in Heaven, well-organized and Jesus is the authority over them.
WE ARE FOLLOWING THE WRITING of the Apostle Peter in his first letter to Christians who were scattered abroad in the Roman Empire. It could have been during any of the three periods of persecutions initiated by the Romans. If it was under Nero, the letter was written about 64 A.D., about 30 years after the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Peter writes strong encouragement to the persecuted Christians to stand firm in their faith and to face death if necessary. I say, “face death if necessary,” because they were doing just that. Peter, himself, would be crucified upside down at his own request.
IT IS RELEVANT TO CHRISTIANS IN THE MOSLEM AND COMMUNIST COUNTRIES today. We should not be surprised if the present anti-Christian sentiment we see rising with each generation in the United States will one day rupture into blood and death for Christians here in our homeland. Moral decay and rot is usually not sudden. It increases with each new generation.
Our nation has officially discarded the Bible except for window dressing in swearing in ceremonies. A slight trace of our religious legacy gives it a nice touch. We are now without a blueprint, without chart or compass, without a North Star with which to navigate through troubled waters.
I HAVE SEEN A GREAT MORAL DETERIORATION AND SHIFTING OF ATTITUDES in America during my lifetime. We should diligently study the Bible to learn the characteristics of moral decay. We should read American history, so we can discern the changing of the times toward social experimentation and chaos. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)
JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES:
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:7).
JESUS PROVED HIS RESURRECTION FOR FORTY DAYS.
Jesus stayed with his disciples forty days after his resurrection from the dead. This gave Him plenty of time to reveal Himself to those who would give witness to His resurrection. Here is a summary of His appearances.
For I [Paul] delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: (1Corinthians 15:3-4)
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time (1Corinthians15:5-8).
No time for trivia or discussing the Super Bowl games or fishing. The disciples barely had a handle on his crucifixion and resurrection. He appointed them a place to meet him and they returned to their biggest question: . . . Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6). They may have heard that an angel had appeared to Jesus’ mother and told her that her child would be given the throne of his father David and he would reign over the house of Jacob forever (Luke.1:32-33).
JESUS HAD NEVER TOLD THEM THAT ISRAEL WAS NOT GOING TO BE RESTORED. They knew from the Old Testament prophets that God was going to set His Son upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem and that Israel would be restored and become a great world power, a leader of the nations. Surely all of the disciples knew Psalm 2 by heart; that the Jewish Messiah would rule with a rod of iron.
THEY SAW JESUS THROUGH THE EYES OF WOULD-BE PATRIOTS and power brokers. For example: And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all (Mark 9:33-35).
THEY LISTENED LIKE SCHOOL CHILDREN, BUT THEY DIDN'T GET IT. They didn’t want to get it. They were living with the promised Jewish messiah, but they were not on the same page with him. It wasn’t long until James and John came to Jesus privately and put in a job application to be big shots in His kingdom.
And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory (Mark 10:35-37).
That didn’t turn out too well. Their mother got into the act. Either they were reporting their lack of progress to their mother or else she was a king-maker mother who was the private coach for her two sons.
CONSIDER THIS: Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21). That was turned down too.
AND NOW WE COME TO THE LAST DAY OF THE FORTY DAYS.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power (Acts 1:6-7).
Jesus is about to leave for the earth for two thousand years and they are going to pay with their lives for following Him. They are still hanging on to their quest for the Jewish kingdom. Jesus does not rebuke them or tell them they have been all wrong about it. They are going to have to make-do with what He has told them and obey Him in what he has commissioned them to do. We call it: The Great Commission.
The kingdom that the disciples were looking for, will one day become a reality. But before that day, Jesus is calling out a people for His name from all over the world to rule with Him. He will return as the Lion of Judah and not as the Lamb.
THEY WATCHED HIM LEAVE...
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 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 (Acts 1:9-11).
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20-21).
We believe in the imminent return of Christ: at any time. There are no signs for His return for the church. There are signs for when He returns with the church seven years later to reign on the earth for a thousand years. Where is Jesus? He is in Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for you and me when we think and behave less than perfectly. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 9, 2018 – FRIDAY
A.M. Deuteronomy 8-10 P.M. Mark 12:28-44
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Song for Today:
Three Times I Asked Him (2:14) (Bennie White & Michal Pies – Calvary Mem.)
A new song to me. It’s about Paul’s prayer to God for healing of his infirmities and the Lord’s promise that His grace was sufficient for him, even though the Lord would not heal him.
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