Mark 16:19 – So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. (NKJV)
Some years ago, my wife and I went on a guided tour of Israel with a group of Christians led by a pastor. We visited mostly sites of biblical importance, like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Jericho, and we spent considerable time in the Galilee as well.
Every evening after our meditation, we would receive a schedule of the places that we were going to visit the next day. One evening, the list indicated that we would go to Bethany to visit the place where Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived, and also the location nearby where Jesus ascended to heaven.
That evening when we got to our room, I took out the Bible and looked up the different passages on the ascension of Jesus, just to familiarize myself with the story again. (Today is Ascension Day, by the way.)
Luke 24:50-53 – And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. (NKJV)
Acts 1:9-11 – Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, 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, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (NKJV)
When we got to the place the next morning, I was really disappointed. It was, as I recall, a very touristy site, but what amazed me more than anything else was that there was a concrete slab with two human footprints in it, as if that were the exact place where Jesus had stood when He left the earth. I asked our leader about it, and he just shook his head and said that he did not know when that was put there. It was, of course, only a tourist attraction.
As I was thinking about this story one day in preparation for an Ascension Day sermon, it occurred to me that although these footprints were, of course, not made by Jesus, nevertheless, what a spiritual footprint He did leave on humanity, through His teaching and preaching! Millions upon millions of people have believed and found comfort through faith in Him as Saviour and Lord, and still do today. We can rest in the confident assurance that He is now in heaven, from where He shall return at the appointed time.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are indeed thankful that Jesus came to earth and that through faith in Him, we are assured of eternal life. We offer this prayer in His name. Amen.
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