The Comfort, Commission and Ascension of Christ
July 11, 2021
 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”  But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.  And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,  and he took it and ate before them.
 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,  and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,  and were continually in the temple blessing God. (ESV)
Main Theme: In our text this morning, Jesus confirms the reality of the resurrection, commissions the disciples for world-wide mission and certifies His deity and His power.
I. Christ’s Reassurance (verses 36-46)
“So God did not design the world and the way of salvation and the process of revelation and the nature of the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit, he didn’t design any of those so we would only have good probability judgments about the truth. He did not intend for us to cross our fingers.” — John Piper
“St. Paul was so sure of the divine truth which he taught that he wrote: “… I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). The Apostle knew Christ as his Saviour and therefore was not ashamed of suffering for him; but as he knew Christ, so also he knew the doctrine which he spread by word or epistle to be the divine truth…The personal assurance of God’s truth made the apostles martyrs who, with thousands of other persuaded believers after them, suffered death rather than deny what they knew to be the divine truth.” — JI Packer
II. Christ’s Commission (With Power) (verses 47-53)
III. Christ’s Ascension (verses 50-53)
- Jesus desires to minister to you – will you let Him?
- Christians have been commissioned with the Good News – will we respond?
Questions For Discussion/Application
- Re-read the text, Luke 24:36-53
- In verses 36-46 Christ ministers to his disciples in their unbelief. He seeks to strengthen their faith in who He is and what He has done. What is such certainty necessary? What can we do to help children and teens–what can we do to help the next generation to be certain of what they believe in?
- In verses 47-53 Christ commissions his disciples.
- How much day in and day out does the Great Commission weigh on your heart?
- Why do you think at times we can be so distracted from the Great Commission?
- What steps can we take practically to grow in our love for the lost?
- In this passage Christ comforts his disciples. He desires to comfort us as well. What obstacles at times keep us from receiving the comfort Christ has for us?
- How do you think God would want to use us in one another’s lives to minister Christ’s comfort?
- In what ways has the Lord comforted / encouraged you recently?
- In what ways might you be struggling right now that we as group can pray for you about?
- Consider taking time to pray for anyone who may be desirous of receiving prayer. Also consider praying for those names on group members’ “One Life” cards.