Jesus' last move on earth was to commission his disciples and then ascend back into heaven – which is where? Where did he go? Did he change forms and become spirit again? Did he ascend up through the clouds, the atmosphere, into outer space? No and no.
The resurrected Jesus now begins appearing to his disciples, giving them convincing proofs that he really is alive. Then, he opens their minds to understand the scriptures, gives them their mission, and encourages them to wait for the gift of the Father.
The women arrive at the tomb on Sunday morning to take care of Jesus' body, only to find he is gone. Some angels remind them that he said this would happen. What implications does Jesus' resurrection have for us today?
The people who listened to Jesus teach at the temple every day woke up Friday morning, to find him already beaten, bloody, and nailed to a cross. The future hope of Israel was bleeding out in front of their very eyes. But as Jesus dies on the cross, there are a lot of massively significant things happening.
The religious leaders need the Roman authorities to rubber stamp the execution orders, so they take Jesus to the governor of Judea, Pilate. After much back and forth discussion, Pilate offers an exchange: The guilty for the innocent; the criminal for the king; Jesus Barabbas or Jesus the Christ. The religious leaders make their choice, and the crucifixion is approved.
We've finally come to the hour of darkness – the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, and the final rejection of the religious leaders. All three are forms of temptation that Jesus warns his disciples to pray "so that they don't fall into."
As the Passover meal comes to a close, and Jesus' betrayal looms large, he gives his disciples one last charge on what it looks like to be managers of the kingdom.
As the cross looms large in Jesus' story, he sits down to a much anticipated dinner with his disciples – the Passover meal – a story full of rich history and remembering, a meal full of significance and joy, a meal full of promise and hope – a meal he leaves unfinished.
In this sermon from Luke 21:20-36, Jesus gives his disciples warnings about the temple and Jerusalem’s eventual destruction, and he also includes signs to look for as you watch for him to return.
Luke 21 opens with a small scene where Jesus notices a poor widow putting her last two coins in the offering at the temple, and it ends with Jesus' telling his disciples to be on guard as the end of days approaches, and the temple is destroyed