“They will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” - John 14:12
Most of us recognize that we live in a world full of trouble. Natural disasters, political divisions, terrorism, war, personal tragedies—all of these color our experience of life.
In a world full of challenges, it can be hard to grasp that Jesus’ return to heaven is for our good. Like his disciples, we just want to be near God and to see him at work. And we can easily think that in his ascension the world’s Savior has gone away and things will not get better—at least not until Jesus returns.
But Jesus offers his followers an incredible promise: the ascension changes everything. In earthly terms, Jesus’ ministry seemed like a failure up to that point. He led a movement that resulted in his death. And when he ascended, he left only a handful of frightened followers. But in going to the Father, Jesus could do so much more on the earth by sending his Spirit to work in and through his followers. They would receive his power to carry on his mission.
In returning to the Father, Jesus promises a new way for us to see God’s power at work, even though we are weak (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). Salvation means more than having our sin forgiven and receiving eternal life; it means living in Christ’s power today in the midst of the world’s trouble.
Where do you see this living hope at work in the world today?