50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
What a contrast! At the beginning of chapter 24 we had women going to the tomb mourning a dead Jesus because they think he is gone. Now the disciples have just seen him really go, and they are worshipping him, and they are absolutely filled with joy that lasts. What a difference the resurrection makes!
The disciples have had their minds opened to see that all the scriptures point towards Jesus. The whole of Israel’s story has been working up to this decisive point. God’s restoration of his people, of the whole of creation, has started. It’s happening now.
Jesus didn’t finish blessing them and then go. It was while he was blessing them. And that blessing continues. As Jesus goes, the Holy Spirit comes. Not just God with us. God living in us. The story of God’s people continues as God’s restoration unfolds to include us.
Indeed, reason for worship and joy!
Written by David Cornell