In the 50 days from Passover to Pentecost, Jesus was busy! The first 40 was spent the work of the gospel (Titus 3:5) and in convincing proofs that He indeed had overcome death (Acts 1:3). In the last 10, He came into His Kingdom while His followers waited for His promise of power and mission to be given (Acts 1:4-8), a promise and mission that would include all those whom He would call to Himself (Acts 36-39).
I. Acts 1:3. After His suffering, which would include the events of Passover, Jesus “presented himself alive … by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” His purpose was two-fold and can be seen in these two examples: Luke 24:13-27 and John 20:19-28. Jesus’ work during this period is included in the 1 Corinthians 15:1-7 description of the gospel.
II. Acts 1:9-11. Jesus ascending alive into heaven (Luke 24:50-51) answers two questions: where did He go and why did He go? The first is important for believers to know and explain to others where the One who has conquered death is today and to know that He will return (Hebrews 9:28). The second shows His work as Priest, Savior, and Intercessor (Hebrews 7:23-25) and His role as He comes into His Kingdom with authority over all, even the church (Ephesians 1:19-23).
III. Acts 1:4-8. While Jesus came into His Kingdom, His followers waited in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of His promise to them of power and mission (Luke 24:52-53). It was fulfilled by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon them (Acts 2:1-4) and the first gospel message that instructed so many from all over the known world that Jesus was indeed alive and had conquered death for all those who obey the gospel (Acts 2:36-41), which includes us if we indeed die with Christ to live with Him (Romans 6:8-11).
Given the gift of the Holy Spirit when we believe, confess ‘Jesus as Lord’ (cut to the heart), repent, and are baptized into Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, we too accept the mission to spread the message that Jesus is alive to the ends of the earth. How are you doing with it?