Up and Down
“And after He spoke to them, then He was received up into heaven, . . .” Mark 16:19
He led them out close to Bethany. Then, He led them on higher up through the mist, along the path they had walked many times before. They walked until they reached the ridge. There on the top of the Olivetti He turned and blessed them. At once the clouds lifted from the hills and the Lord was taken up into thin air. One moment the Lord was with them and the next He was not.
In this moment heaven was near, heaven is present and eternity stoops down. He ascended into heaven not to be separated from them, but to be closer to them than ever before. The ascension was necessary to increase the relationship of His disciples with Himself.
Our cravings seek satisfaction any place it possibly can. Our hunger eats its way through into dark corners of the soul. It cares not what destructive means it takes to be fulfilled. The lesson of the ascension is that the life we crave can only be found by separating ourselves from the lower forms of the senses.
The ascension teaches us that in order to find freedom, we answer the demand of disentangling from the snares of this world, untwisting from the temptation of the senses, and finding life in the life of the Spirit and not in our base attempts to alleviate pain.
Still another truth of the ascension is the life we find by disengaging from our old worldly ways, it must be brought back down into our life to claim it and redeem it with His power. We go up by contemplating Him at the right hand of God. We learn we cannot have communion with Christ in heaven unless we come back down to earth to live with Him.
This is what Jesus is doing, He goes up into heaven, but He also has come back down again in His spirit into this world of ours, to fill us with His spirit. He didn’t forsake us in life, but carries it into a further freedom than ever imagined.
Has heaven been living in you?