‘He is risen!’ – Part 10
God has a home, where there are many rooms and which “the household of God” now on earth (Eph 2:19) will be transferred; “here we have no continuing city” (Heb 13:14).
Read Acts 1:9-11. Jesus taken up into heaven
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 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.” (Acts 1:9-11)
1:9 It was important for the disciples to see Jesus taken up into heaven. Then they knew without a doubt that he was God and that His home was in heaven.
1:9-11 After 40 days with His disciples (1:3), Jesus returned to heaven. The two men in white apparel were angels, who proclaimed to the disciples that one day Jesus would return in the same way He went—bodily and visibly. History is not haphazard or cyclical; it is moving toward a specific point—the return of Jesus to judge and rule over the earth. We should be ready for His sudden return (1 Thessalonians 5:2), not by standing around “gazing up into heaven,” but by working hard to share the gospel so that others will be able to share in God’s great blessings.
The Church was technically born on the day of Christ’s resurrection
What is the significance of Jesus breathing on the disciples on resurrection day?
The Regeneration of the Disciples: An Overview
“And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22)
The impartation of the Holy Spirit by Jesus to His disciples on resurrection day was not the baptism in the Spirit as experienced at Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:4). It was rather the disciples’ initial new covenant experience of the regenerating presence of the Holy Spirit and the impartation of new life from the risen Christ.
(1) During Jesus’ last discourse with His disciples before His trial and crucifixion, He promised them that they would receive the Holy Spirit, as the One who would regenerate them: “He dwells with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:17). Jesus now fulfils that promise.
(2) That John 20:22 refers to regeneration can be inferred from the phrase, “he breathed on them.” The Greek word for “breathed” (emphusaē) is the same verb used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT) at Gen 2:7, where God “breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” It is the same verb found in Ezek 37:9, “Breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” John’s use of this verb indicates that Jesus was giving the Spirit in order to bring forth life and a new creation. That is, just as God breathed into physical man the breath of life and he became a new creation (Gen 2:7), so Jesus now breathed on the disciples spiritually and they became a new creation in the new covenant sense. Through His resurrection, Jesus became a “quickening (life-giving) spirit” (1 Cor 15:45).
(3) The phrase “Receive the Holy Spirit” establishes that the Spirit, at that historical moment, entered and began to live in the disciples. The verb form for “receive” is aorist imperative (Gk labete, from the word lambanē), denoting a single act of reception.
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