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Ascension – Leaving Earth

 The Reading:  John 17:11-13 

“I am no more in the world” (v. 11) RSV

There comes a time when the battle of life comes to an end; we are not condemned to be forever in this fallen world.  Of course there are many good times, but as followers of Jesus we have many a fight against the world, the flesh and the devil.  We will never come back in any sense re-incarnated.  We will, for better or for worse, leave this world.

Jesus said that that was exactly what he was going to do: “I am no more in the world” (v.11).  He had worked hard and made the ultimate sacrifice.  On the Cross he had cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30).  He had completed the work he had been given to do.  He was free at last to enter his rest!

As it says, “He sat down at the right hand of the Father” (Hebrews 10:12).  As we shall see, as these weeks roll by, he would thereafter often ‘stand’ in heaven to continue his work, but the first picture is of him seated – a work well done.  He had accomplished all he came to do on earth.

One day we too will complete the race of life and enter our rest.  Meantime we continue to work with all the strength God gives us.  We battle against evil and we seek to be worthy witnesses of God’s saving love within us.  There is much work to be done.  “The days are evil, let us redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:16).

As Jesus said, “It is he who continues to the end who will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

Help me, O Lord, to keep going to the end.  For the joy set before me may I be strengthened today.  Amen. 

Explore More

1  What was Paul’s attitude to life and death?

    2 Timothy 4:6-8

2   What helped Jesus keep going to the end?

    Hebrews 12:2

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