Monday, February 4, 2013

Consider the clouds #6. The Chariot Ride Home.

The Chariot Cloud Ride Home

It was going home time. The conquest by Christ and the cross was complete. Satan’s kingdom had been shattered and plundered. After spending time with the disciples Jesus was going to His heavenly realm. A victory parade was waiting. There was a new role to undertake. Preparation for the promised return was now to be put into operation.

When a Roman general returned victorious from a campaign he rode on a chariot to the cheers of the populace. The army would march behind displaying the booty. Then would come the prisoners. Acts 1:9 ‘As they (the disciples) were watching, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.’ Psalm 104: tells us that the Lord has made the clouds His chariot.  The inference is clear. Jesus was returning home as the conqueror.

When Jesus returned home notice what was in His train. ‘When He ascended on high He made captivity itself a captive; He gave gifts to His people.’ (Ephesians 4:8) In the Greek the word for captive means ‘to take by the spear.’ Do you see the grace of Christ in that? What [pierced His side on the cross? The Roman soldiers spear!  When that happened Jesus had won. He had taken captivity captive. Now it was possible for men and women to know freedom from the bondage of sin, Satan and death.

The heavenly messengers broke into the awe struck gaze of the disciples. They declared ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.’ Take stock of their words.

‘This Jesus…’ Not  one similar to Him. It will be the same Jesus who  was born in Bethlehem, crucified and rose again.
‘Will come in the same way as you saw Him go…’ How was that? Visibly. No invisible coming is implied. Tangible. He isn’t a ghost. With the clouds. His chariots will bring Him back. It is a warrior description. From what site did Jesus ascend? From the Mount. of Olives. (Acts 1:12) This is important.

Zechariah 14:3 ‘The Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives…’ Can you tie the two passages together? They are saying the Lord of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New.

The testimony of the clouds has many facets. Here we perceive Jesus as the Lord God of Hosts returning as conqueror with the promise to return and establish His rule.

Next week. The chariot clouds of wrath.

Ray (glad to belong to Jesus) Hawkins

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