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Acts 1:1-8 (NIV)
Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The ministry of the prophet Ezekiel is a glimpse in the Old Testament of the work that Jesus would ultimately come to do. In this passage, Jesus, like Ezekiel, stood in the midst of his disciples and gave them a promise of new life. These disciples had abandoned him. Peter, one of his closest friends, had literally denied even knowing Jesus in his most desperate hour. Into the darkness of their sin Jesus offers forgiveness, new life, and the “breath” of the living God. We have been given the promise of God’s life-giving Spirit! Let that sink in for a second. Now ask God to help you share that with others in your home, at your work-place, at the sports fields, at the grocery store, while you are on vacation or wherever you go. And if you need help figuring out what that might look like think about who Jesus loved, how he loved, how he forgave, and how he obeyed his Father (see also 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Gal. 5:22-23).