And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
What a gamut of emotions and confusion came upon Jesus’ followers after His resurrection. There was sadness and perplexity, fear and doubt, but now, finally, joy had come after everything else. The time for sorrow was past. This was a new dawn. These were the infant moments of a new and glorious reality. And what made all the difference and changed their hearts, their minds, and their perspective was that they knew that Jesus was alive.
What did it mean that Jesus was alive and had ascended to the Father? It meant His great plan of redemption was complete. It meant sin had been defeated. It meant there was new life to live. And in this moment, the truth of Jesus becomes real to them, and that is where their great joy comes from, and that can be the source of our joy, too. Gone is the sorrow of our past, our sin, our death. The joy of life has come, that true joy of abiding in that great truth that Jesus is alive forevermore.
May we hold this same truth deep in our hearts and allow it to bring us great joy. Jesus is alive, and He is alive forevermore. He has given us eternal life. He has reconciled us to the Father. He has defeated sin once and for all. And surely that is worthy of praise from our hearts continually. Surely that is something we must continually be aware of and continually acknowledge in our lives.
There are still sorrowful things we face upon this Earth. There are still times of misunderstanding and fear. But in the midst of all of that, may we turn our minds and hearts to this glorious truth and allow it to help carry us through. Because if Jesus is alive, then He is with us in our trial. If Jesus is alive, His love for us remains, and His grace and mercy is available to us still. If Jesus is alive, we have great hope. May that be enough to restore our joy and keep us praising our Lord.