Uplook Fridays (on Sunday!):Between Resurrection & Ascension

The Lord’s death and resurrection, when viewed in connection with the
Old Testament dispensation, summed it up and brought it to an end. The
Lord remained on earth for forty days after His resurrection to prepare
His disciples for the new age of grace. During these days there were
appearances and disappearances. The appearances were necessary in order
to prove again and again that He was indeed risen from the dead. The
disappearances were necessary in order to school His disciples to live
by faith and not by sight since His bodily presence was soon to be
taken away. In this period there were seven important openings.({{Acts
1:3}})

The Opening of the Tomb
We are told in {{Mark 16:1}} that
certain women brought sweet spices to anoint the body of the Lord and
found the huge stone already rolled away from the door of the tomb.
There had been an earthquake ({{Mt. 28:2}}), and an angel from heaven
had moved it. The guards who were on duty became “as dead men.” No one
saw Jesus come out of the tomb. The stone was not rolled away to let
Jesus out—He was already out—but to let the disciples in that they
might see the evidence that He had risen. The Lord did not have to
struggle out of clothes to rise. In quiet and calm control, He rose
without disturbing the grave clothes. The Lord opened the door of death
and rose triumphant over it.

The Opening of the Heavens
{{Mark 16:19}} tells us,
“He was received up into heaven.” “Thou hast ascended on high” ({{Ps.
68:18}}) means that He did so by His own inherent power, and was given
a royal welcome. The language of the psalm is that of a military
triumph—the Lord having defeated all the hierarchy of hell and fully
accomplished man’s redemption. Thus in {{Psalm 24}} we see heaven
opening its gates to receive Him. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and
be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come
in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord
mighty in battle.” He opened those gates, and open they remain until
the last of His believing people pass through to sit with Him in
everlasting glory.

The Opening of the Eyes
“And their eyes were opened”
({{Lk. 24:31}}), so that “they knew Him.” The prophets had declared
that He would do this ({{Isa. 35:5}}). The first reference of this
scripture may have been to physical eyes. Few of such eyes were opened,
but millions of spiritual eyes have been opened since, and all such now
know the Lord. All His followers need this touch of His risen life. We
read of the two going to Emmaus that “their eyes were holden that they
should not know Him” ({{Lk. 24:16}}); that Mary in the garden was
actually standing near Him yet “knew not that it was Jesus”; that the
disciples who had gone back fishing “knew not that it was Jesus”
standing on the seashore. All needed their eyes opened that they might
know Him in resurrection life.

The Opening of the Future
“Verily, verily, I say unto
thee,” said the Lord to Peter, “When thou wast young, thou girdest
thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldst: but when thou shalt be old,
thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and
carry thee whither thou wouldst not. This spake He, signifying by what
death he should glorify God” ({{Jn. 21:18-19}}). The Lord in these
words told Peter two things. First, he would live to be an old man and,
secondly, by which exit door he would depart out of this world. When
Peter turned and saw John following, he asked the Lord, “What shall
this man do?” The Lord answered, in effect, that that was not Peter’s
business. John’s future, too, was in the hands of the Lord. So are all
our futures.

The Opening of the Scriptures
“Did not our heart burn
within us…while He opened to us the Scriptures?” ({{Lk. 24:32}}). The
two on the way to Emmaus were in the depths of despondency. The cross
had blasted their hopes of an immediate earthly kingdom. But the Lord
appeared to them, and though they did not recognize Him, He walked with
them. In that walk He opened up a new ministry of finding Christ in all
the Scriptures. “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded
unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” As He
did so, their heart burned within them. They were lifted out of their
despair. The opening of the Scriptures set their hearts aflame.

The Opening of Their Understanding
“Then opened He
their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” ({{Lk.
24:45}}). Education is not the key to such understanding, though no one
would despise it. Many of the best teachers of the Word of God have had
little in the way of formal education. Worldly philosophers have no
clue to such understanding. But humble believers with very little
education have often gone down into the depths of the Word and come up
with hands laden with jewels of divine truth.

The Opening of the World
“And they went forth, and
preached everywhere, the Lord working with them” ({{Mk. 16:20}}). These
disciples had been hidden behind closed doors, eating and drinking.
When the risen Lord came into their midst, He upbraided them, then sent
them out into all the world. “Go ye into all the world and preach the
gospel to every creature.” The whole world was their parish. Oiled
wheels run freely. And how prompt and ready should we all be to witness
for the Lord to all men everywhere, especially when endued with power
from on high. “Here am I, send me” ({{Isa. 6:8}}), was Isaiah’s prompt
reply.

I know that my Redeemer lives:
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives my everlasting Head.

He lives, triumphant from the grave;
He lives, eternally to save;
He lives, all glorious in the sky;
He lives, exalted there on high.

He lives, my mansion to prepare;
And He will bring me safely there;
He lives, all glory to His Name!
Jesus, unchangeably the same!

—Samuel Medley

From "Worship & Remembrance" by
Daniel Smith


Used by Permission. This material is protected by copyright. © 2005 Uplook Ministries.

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