40 DAYS…ASCENSION….10 DAYS LEFT TO GET READY!

On May 9th (at sundown until the following day at sundown), marked the 40th day of the time period between the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Pentecost.  This day is marked in the pattern of biblical history as the day that the Lord ascended into heaven after instructing the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4).

40 days earlier, Jesus had died on the cross on Passover and became the Passover Lamb.  Three days later, Jesus rose and presented Himself to the Father on the Feast of Firstfruits. Afterwards, Jesus returned to show Himself to His disciples, encouraging their faith, and commissioning them to build the Kingdom of God here on the earth (John 19-21).

“to whom He (Jesus) also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts. 1:3).

During the 40 days after Christ’s resurrection, the disciples went through their final training with the Great Teacher as they had the chance to examine the measure of their faith, and use this “probationary period” to solidify their understanding of the Kingdom of God before they graduated to the Lord’s “Apostleship.”

When Christ ascended on the 40th day, the time of “graduation” was upon the disciples. This marked the beginning of the multiplicity of authority of apostleship, from Christ (the Chief Apostle and Prophet), to the disciples.  No longer was this New Covenant going to be executed by Christ alone.  It was now going to include a multitude of “little-Christs” covering the earth with the Father’s message.  However, there would be a ten day period of preparation to get ready for the “Anointed One” to “seal” the disciples with His power, truth, and authority.   This great and powerful transaction would be announced by Christ Himself:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1: 8).

The disciples had some work to do to get ready for “graduation day.”  First, they had to shift their mindsets to being a student of Christ to becoming “like Christ”  in the community.  It was the disciples turn to now build upon what Jesus had taught them through His WORD and actions, which would cause them to carry His name, “Christ-ian.”

Next, the disciples had to position themselves to prosper in what they were commissioned to do.  They had to GO to Jerusalem and wait.  They had to come together in ONE ACCORD.  They had to pray to seek for God’s provision. And they had some business to take care of which was find God’s replacement for Judas Iscariot.  All of this preparation made way for the “PROVISION” of the Lord.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).

Lastly, they had to WAIT, trusting God would perform His Word. 

“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they all mount up with wings like eagles, they shall RUN and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Is. 40:31)

Even though Jerusalem was a hostile environment for the disciples to gather and wait, it was the “appointed place” that God had already established as His city for His presence to abide in.  It was also the city God’s people would gather together corporately to honor the Feasts “SET TIMES” which He had established to be a sign of fulfillment of His redemption.

People were pouring into Jerusalem all throughout the week to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, without a clue that God was about to take center stage and fulfill this Feast (Feast in Hebrew actually means dress rehearsal). God was about to pour out His glory to make way for the building of the “NEW JERUSALEM.” As the temple would be destroyed 40 years later, the Lord already had His solution for the rebuilding of the temple that would never be destroyed again, and had even prophesied of it:

“We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’”(Mark 14:58).

This temple was not going to be made by man, but by God Himself, choosing those whom He knew, to be a home for His presence to dwell in their “temple” (BODY).

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Cor. 6:19,20).

As Christ, the Master Craftsman, had fashioned 12 “living stones” to build the Kingdom of God, the Apostles were equipped to continue the building process through their faith and obedience (1 Peter 2:5).

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone, in which the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22).

No longer would God’s people need to go to Jerusalem to experience His presence, nor sacrifice animals to make us holy.  God’s new plan was to “tabernacle” IN THE TEMPLE OF THE BELIEVER through the holy sacrifice of Christ.

“But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” (Heb. 9:11).

As the disciples prepared to be ready, let’s follow the blueprint and be ready to honor the Feast of Pentecost this May 20th!

 

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