Where is Jesus?


… Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?” Acts 1:11b NRSVA

With our Easter celebrations past, it can be easy to forget the joy of the resurrection and the salvation that Jesus' sacrifice and restoration brings us. In the month of May, many Christians will study the story of Jesus' ascension into Heaven and I sometimes wonder what His followers must have felt at that time. Having experienced the pain of losing their friend and leader after His crucifixion and then the joy of His presence when He rose and returned to them, how must they have felt to see Him lifted up and disappear before their very eyes, knowing that they would not see Him again? Perhaps they trusted in His words, that His Helper would come to them? Perhaps they felt despair, as His presence departed them once again? Were they focused on where they had last seen Jesus, as they were, 'gazing up to Heaven…' (Acts 1:11), or would they move their gaze to where Jesus had directed them?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves the same question. Are we stuck, looking at where Jesus was in our lives? Or are we able to see where He is in our 'present reality', even if it's not where we want, or expect Him to be? Perhaps you’ve not encountered Him at all yet? The world presents many distractions from our relationship with Jesus, from noble causes to flighty entertainment but He promised to be with us 'to the end of the age' (Matt 28:20) - it is our invitation and responsibility to follow His instructions and draw near to Him (James 4:8). The world around us creaks and groans; the daily news is filled with reports of wars, sickness, broken trust and relationships. If we focus on these, we too could experience despair, in the absence of Jesus. Yet, if we focus on our King, He draws near to us (James 4:8), we feel His presence and live in the hope of the Kingdom now and the Kingdom yet to come. That's why we encourage people to read the Bible every day - to focus on where Jesus is now - and encounter Him, our living hope (1 Peter 1:3).

God bless you,

Zoë Keens, Chief Executive | Christian Education | IBRA

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