Thursday, May 9, 2013

Our Turn

Why did Jesus have to leave us? Why did He have to ascend into Heaven?

Let me start by saying that He only left us physically. In spirit He is with us, now and forever. And this spiritual connection is stronger than anything we could ever imagine, an unbreakable and personal bond.

Jesus, by leaving, united us to God through the Holy Spirit and forged a unique connection that far surpasses any physical interaction with the human Jesus. Christ is now able to live within the hearts of each and every human. He can be everywhere at once. He has overcome death. He has proven to us that He understand all suffering we experience--and that He is greater than this suffering. Christ has risen and has conquered the trials of earth. What a beacon of hope for humanity. What a clear example of what faith in God can do.

Additionally, Jesus left us because now it is our turn. The teacher is gone; it is our turn to teach the world. The symbol of perfect love is no longer in our midst; it is our turn to reflect His love. It is our time to take the knowledge and example Jesus left us with and apply it.

Jesus has shown us how to live a holy life on earth. And after His Ascension, He shows us the benefits this holy life will bring. By giving us this example and this hope, Jesus informs us of His expectations. We  must continue his mission of love and peace. We must sacrifice and love and forgive because Jesus, our prime example of a holy life, did the same.

God is testing our knowledge. When a teacher administers a test, he does not speak. He does not give you the answers. If he is a good teacher, he has taught you the material. He has prepared you as best as he can. He hopes that you have listened to his teachings and prepared, as well. When you receive that test, he hopes that you can adequately apply the knowledge he has given you. He hopes that you can find your way...without relying solely upon him to provide all the answers. He has not abandoned you. He is still present. He is present in the knowledge you have learned, and he is watching, even if he does so silently.

Christ is our teacher, and the lessons we learn from Him make the difference between life and death, joy and suffering, and love and hatred. When God hands out the tests of our lives, He steps back, for if He were to remain by our sides too often, we would become over-reliant. We would not truly learn and apply His teachings. We would fail to recognize our duty as Christians to continue what He started, to uphold a legacy of Christ's life-giving and undying love.

God has given us a responsibility. And we are not ill-equipped. Every tool we need to accomplish His will has been made available to us. Let us venture forward on this journey Christ has prepared for us, using His footsteps as guidance. Only then can we, too, hope to ascend into Heaven and enjoy an endless, blissful union with our Savior.

Related Song:
Oh God by Citizens

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