Waiting for the Wind
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, 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 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” (Acts 2:1-2)
Jesus was going away. The disciples did not want Him to leave them, but the Lord insisted. He must ascend to His Father. One day He would return, but for now, He had to go away. Despite the great sorrow that they would experience, the disciples at least knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jesus was alive. He had been crucified and buried, but on the third day He arose from among the dead. Now He was in His glorified resurrection body.
No one would ever hurt Him again. No one would ever arrest Him, beat Him, spit upon His holy face, or nail His flesh to a Cross. Christ had risen from among the dead to move about in a glorified body. But what was this body of Christ like?
For one thing it was a body that could travel with the speed of thought. One moment the disciples on the road to Emmaus were fellowshipping with the resurrected Lord, and then abruptly He vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:3). Jesus moved physically from one place to another with the speed of thought.
Second, the resurrected body of Christ transcended material objects. In a closed room in Jerusalem, with the doors securely shut, Thomas met with the other disciples (John 21:26). For eight days Thomas had listened carefully to the testimony of Peter. He reviewed again and again the report the women had brought to the followers of the Lord. But Thomas still doubted whether or not it was true that a dead man came back from the grave. Maybe what the Roman soldiers were saying was correct. Maybe some religious disciples of Christ had come and stolen the body. Thomas was not sure. Then suddenly Jesus stood in the midst of the room of disciples with doubting Thomas, and Thomas doubted no more. With the doors being shut, Jesus, in His glorified resurrected body, transcended material barriers.
Another aspect of the resurrected body of Christ is that it was able to go from earth to heaven, wherever heaven might be. The Bible tells us some very simple things about heaven. Heaven is the dwelling place of God. “The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.” (Psalm 11:4)
Heaven is described in different ways in the Bible.
Heaven is called a garner, meaning a barn, or granary. In Matthew 3:12, when John the Baptist spoke of the Messiah, he talked of one, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Heaven is called The Kingdom of Christ and of God. “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Eph. 5:5)
Heaven is called the Father’s House. “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Heaven is called a Heavenly Country. “But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Heb. 11:6)
Heaven is described as being a place of rest. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” (Heb. 4:9) “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.’‘Yea,’ saith the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’” (Rev. 14:13)
Heaven is spoken of as a Paradise. “I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) such as one caught up to the third heaven.” (2 Cor. 12:2) “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Cor. 12:4)
The wicked are excluded from heaven.
First List of the Damned. “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21)
Second List of the Damned. “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Eph. 5:5)
Third List of the Damned. “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Rev. 22:15)
While Jesus made His way to a holy and sanctified heaven, His disciples made their way back to Jerusalem to wait for the wind.