Back soon

It’s a familiar sign on a shop door to read: “Back soon”. We no doubt wonder: “What are they doing?” We can idly speculate on why the owner has stepped out of the shop. Perhaps trade was slack, so they popped out buy a coffee, collect a prescription or simply to get fresh air. If it’s a day they usually are open at this time we also ask ourselves, “When will they be back?” This is very important if I need to attend to my business today. It’s frustrating to have your plans thrown to the wind.

After Jesus’ resurrection he appeared to many people over a 40-day period. Then, having said he was off: ‘He was taken up and a cloud received him from their sight’ (Acts 1v9). Was it simply explaining a vanishing trick? No, for it was not the end of the story since the angels said he was returning. “Back soon” was a disruption to the disciples’ plans, since they thought that they were now on a roll. At the ascension Jesus went up back to heaven, the very place he had come from. Jesus returned home to be with his Father in heaven – an unseen, but very real, world.

This is important for two reasons. It confirms that his self-offering, was a perfect sacrifice for our sins. His death was acceptable and paid in full for our sins. We can be confident that Jesus is the mediator who provides forgiveness (Hebrews 1v3). Although we can’t now see him, we rely upon him for our daily life. It is to the ascended Jesus that we give our praise and to whom we pray. If he were not in heaven, then our praise and prayer would be pointless.

The second reason concerns our future. When Peter preached at Solomon’s Colonnade, he spoke about how the resurrection of Jesus meant we must have a complete change of mind (‘repent’) for our sins to be wiped out before an important next event: ‘He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets’ (Acts 3v21).

The next main thing (in the history of salvation) is the future return of Jesus to restore this broken world and his people. Are you ready for this event? The only way to be prepared is to also have a complete change of mind about Jesus because he is risen.

I invite you to explore the implications with us. Just don’t put things off, because he will be BACK SOON!

      Paul Kingman