2nd June 2019

All Included

“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’”
Acts 1:9-11 (NIV)

Ascension was celebrated by the Christian world last Thursday, 30 May. I believe one of the most amazing truths about the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus is that it is for all, all people of all nations. There is no more separation of Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female. All are included in his plan and his life. Sadly, not all accept the good news and don’t live in that truth, but it doesn’t take away the reality of the resurrection. He rose for all.

The disciples didn’t realise this at first. God had to perform a series of miraculous interventions for Peter to understand Jesus wasn’t just the Saviour of the Jews, but the Saviour of all. In Acts 10 we read that Peter was praying when God gave him a vision telling Peter the Gospel was also for Gentiles. Later in that chapter we find Peter at the home of a Gentile, Cornelius. Peter started by saying, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean” (verse 28).

It seems that this message is just as applicable today in our “us versus them” way of looking at so many things that divide us—culture, gender, politics, race, religion. It seems we’ve missed one of the greatest points of the resurrection. Reading on, Peter says this: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (Acts 10:34-36). Yes, the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus are for everyone!

Prayer
Risen Saviour, we praise you for your mercy and grace. Your birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension give hope to all mankind. We thank you for your marvellous love and pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Presented by Greg Williams
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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

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