What a rollercoaster ride it must have been!
In John chapter seven Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come. The Jews wondered what He was talking about, but clearly, Jesus was talking about His soon ascension into Heaven.
In Acts chapter one, the disciples were gathered around Jesus and He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. Suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them, “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
The fifty days or so before this event in Acts had to be an emotional rollercoaster ride for nearly everyone involved! It was the Sunday before His death upon the cross and Jesus rode a foal, a donkey a colt into the streets of Jerusalem and the crowds who lined the streets waved palm branches and shouted out hosanna to the son of David, blessed be the name of the Lord. Surely the disciples thought this was the time Jesus would set up His earthly kingdom, but time would soon tell it wasn’t so. A few days later, Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with costly perfume; but Judas was angered because he wanted to steal the money from the moneybox. After preparation was made, Jesus and His disciples enjoyed the Passover meal, and Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.
From there, Judas went to set up his betrayal. Then Jesus took Peter, James and John to the Garden of Gethsemane. The disciples couldn’t stay awake one hour to pray while Jesus sweat drops of blood in prayer saying not my will be done but Father thy will be done. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, and Jesus was taken off for trial.
By now the crowds turned on Jesus and were yelling crucify Him, crucify Him, and crucify Him. Peter denied he ever knew Christ and he ran off to weep once he heard the rooster crow. Judas committed suicide. All the while, Jesus was mocked, scourged and then crucified upon the cross of Calvary. The women who loved and supported Jesus so much stood by the foot of the cross and wept and wept and wept as the Master died. Jesus cried out “It is finished” and took His last breath. A centurion guard, said, surely this was a righteous man. The earth quaked and the sky was darkened for three hours as Jesus hung upon the cross and shed his blood for the remission of sin. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepared the body of Jesus and then laid him in a grave. The romans sealed the grave, and the world had no idea what was to come.
It was now Sunday morning and Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the grave of Jesus. They were met by an angel who told them He is not here He is risen for the stone had been rolled away! The ladies ran to tell the apostles. Peter and John raced to the grave only to find the empty tomb. Thomas pushed his fingers through the holes in the hands of Jesus and then cried out my Lord and my God!
Peter, James and John and other disciples were fishing on the Sea of Galilee when they saw Jesus standing on the shore. Jesus told them to cast their net on the right hand side of the boat. Their nets were overloaded with fish. Peter swam to shore to meet Jesus. John and the other disciples pulled the nets full of fish to shore, and they all had breakfast with Jesus.
Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus was taken up before their very eyes. For in the same manner He was taken, He will come again. What an emotional rollercoaster ride it must have been!