Friday, April 26, 2019. The biblical story of the resurrection of Jesus is challenging. It superseeds our standard experience. It is difficult to judge if we wanted to put it into a framework as we usually do with news about events. In modern language we would say: singularities in space and time are characterized by being single, and it is very hard to get a general understanding of such events.
But there is more in the New Testament. After Jesus is risen, he is taken into heaven. This is another “singular” event. Similar reports we find only very few in the whole history of mankind! It usually does not happen. But let us look into more details of what people have said about what happened.
Jesus gone again …
Here is the story according to Acts, chapter 1:
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (from Acts 1)
Jesus is taken away out of their sight. That is the basic point of this story. It is, of course, an important point for our treatment of Jesus and his role until today. If it is true, that he lives, and that he is God, and that he was taken away since God wants to be with us in a different form, through the Holy Spirit rather than as a human person, it is an important building block of life!
God wants to be with everyone. God wants to be in our life in a very intense and intimate way. That is not possible if he is with us as a person. As a human, as the son Jesus, he is just human. But as God, he is spirit. He is with billions of people at the same time. He is close to them at each and every minute of their life. All that would not be possible as a human.
Our conclusion has to be: Jesus has to go. He has to be taken away. Only when the spirit with his universial global presence and power comes, God can be God as he has been before the beginning of time.
The resurrection was never meant to be something which delivers us Jesus as a human only. Yes, he rose bodily. Yes, he walked and talked and took food. But this is only a transition! It is to clarify that he lives, that the same Jesus, who lived with mankind, is now going to God. The same Jesus is there with and in his spirit.
And here we leave the area of singularity. Living with the spirit is something which all dedicated Christians can experience. Become a disciple of Jesus, and receive the Holy Spirit as power of truth, peace, love, humility and joy in your life. He will come and start to walk with you, that is the promise of discipleship. He will change you, step by step, day by day. He is the spirit of the living God! The Ascension is an important interface for our life, such that the spirit comes, and he is there yesterday, today and tomorrow! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts