In the last moments Jesus spent on earth with his disciples, he tells them this:
"'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God." Luke 24:46-53
There is so much in this passage... and over the next several posts, I would like to really work through all of it. But to start, I want to focus on the worship.
Place yourself in the shoes of these disciples: you've been through great grief over the past three days. The person you've followed for three years has been brutally, senselessly crucified. And Friday, Saturday, Sunday, you were without hope. But then, Sunday he finally reveals himself to you - he is alive! "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26) In these glorious moments reunited with your Savior he speaks to you, promising you power from on high, blessing you. And then he's taken back up into heaven.
THIS is the stage on which the disciples worshiped.
Each of us should worship as these disciples did on that night. Each of us should worship as if we've seen and touched the risen Christ. Each of us should worship as if we've seen him ascend into heaven ourselves. Just close your eyes and imagine this scene set in the end of Luke. It's breath-taking to place ourselves in the disciples shoes and imagine the raw power and glory they witnessed. How real Christ was to these people! Because this great joy that they had, it's ours too. The promises, the blessings they received, these are also ours. Jesus is just as present in our lives as he was in theirs.
"Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him," (Luke 24:31a). Have your eyes been opened to how Christ works in your life? Can you recognize Christ in your life? Is he real to you? When Christ becomes as real to you as he was to the disciples, you can begin to worship as the disciples did.