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Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
Up to Us
After Jesus was raised, he opened the minds of the disciples to the scriptures. In other words, he gave them all the knowledge they’d need. And then he related what had been written to what had happened to him. And finally he offered them direction, that they were going to be witnesses to these things. You see, from that time forward, this would be their job. And to make that work possible, he promised a source of power from on high. You see, during forty days after the resurrection, this is what he offered his disciples. And then he left. He ascended into heaven. And the disciples were on their own to use what they’d learned to do the work they’d been called to do.
And you know, we’re in a similar place. I mean, through the inspiring power of God, our minds have been opened to scripture, and we have the ability to relate what we now understand to the reality of Jesus Christ. And we’ve also received the same commission, to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. Now we already have all this stuff. But more than that, we’ve also received the promised power from on high, in other words, the Holy Spirit. And after being given all this, we’re on our own to do the work we’ve been given. You see, as we face a world that’s hungry for peace and hope, just like it was for the disciples, it’s now up to us.