Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mount of Ascension, Commission and Promise

Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. "You are witnesses of these things. "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.  Luke 24:44-53

We remember this as the time that Christ ascended back to the Father having completed His earthly task.  It was a glorious departure and stirred the souls of all who witnessed it.  

Also, this was the Mountain of Commission when Christ gave the marching orders to His army.  The Great Commission was delivered prior to Christ’s ascension: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20  The Task of Discipleship became the message of this final meeting on a mountain.

But, not only was this the mountain of ascension and commission, it was also the Mountain of Promise where He guaranteed the coming of the Holy Spirit.  He told them where to go and wait for the power to come and said, “You shall be witnesses!”  Acts 1:1-8

We are saved to save others.  We have been redeemed to redeem.  We have been cleansed to cleanse.  We have been served to serve.  We are called to call.  He did not say, “You CAN be witnesses” or “You MIGHT be witnesses but, “You shall be witnesses!”  The life of the Christian is the witness he calls us to share.

The Mt. of the Beatitudes showed the what of the Christian life, the Mt. of Transfiguration showed the Who of the Christian life, The Mt. of Olives showed the difficulty of the Christian life, Mt. Calvary showed the cost of the Christian life, and the Mt. of the Ascension, Commission, and Promise told the purpose of the Christian life.

I have long been an observer of the mountains rather than a climber.  What climbing I have done has caused me to realize something.  You can never truly know or experience a mountain until you have scaled it.  There is something about digging your feet into the side of a mountain and pulling yourself up to its highest point.  Such discovery brings a totally different interpretation of the mountain. 

There is no way that a Christian can experience the truths of these lessons without submitting to climbing of the mountain.  It is not enough to hear of its message, it must be experienced.  Will you pull on your boots and begin to climb the next mountain that the Lord has for you?

Scripture to Claim:  
"And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." (Acts 5:32)

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