We’d just ended our lesson on the Ascension of Christ and the sounds of gathering books and papers rustled in the air. Kathy, a bubbly freckle-faced girl with bright eyes and teeth in braces, turned to me with a question. It was obvious she and her friends were playing, “Stump the teacher.” I loved these little sparring matches because I loved watching them enjoy the chase for Truth.
“What happened to Jesus’ body when He went to Heaven?” Kathy asked.
“Yeah! Did it dissolve or something?” another suggested.
“Maybe it turned into a ghost! Ooooooo!!” the class clown called from the back of the room.
I laughed at their antics, pleased that several preferred staying after class for the answer instead of rushing out to lunch. “Well, let’s see what you guys can remember about what happened leading up to the day Jesus ascended. Kathy, you go first.”
Kathy looked at her friends for support, then began, “When Jesus died on the cross, they buried His body in a cave. Then on Sunday morning, He came back alive again.”
Another girl chimed in, “At first, His friends didn’t recognize Him. He even disguised Himself one time, too!”
I added some intrigue to their recitation, “Yes! And He could walk through walls, disappear, and reappear anywhere. He cooked and ate fish, and talked with a lot of people. He also still had the holes in his hands and feet and side where the soldiers stabbed him.”
“Yeah! I remember He showed them to Thomas and the other Apostles in that room that time!” The class clown was hooked!
I continued, “After forty days of visiting people, He took his Apostles up on a hill and told them to spread the Good News of His Kingdom wherever they went. Then He went up, up, and away in a cloud. When He’d disappeared, some angels told the Apostles to hurry up and get started because Jesus would be back from the clouds one day.”
“So what happened to His body? What is He doing now?” Kathy added.
“Well, Colossians 3:1 and 4 tell us that Jesus is ruling with God at God’s right-hand in keeping the universe operating. He’s listening to our prayers and guarding our souls. Then one day He’s going to change our bodies to be just like the one He has now, the amazing one that got up from His grave!”
Then I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a package of cookies and passed them around. I hoped they’d take the hint that I had more to say because what I wanted them to know was so vital. “Can I talk to you a little more about what God’s world is like, and what it’s going to be like for us? I’ve got cookies. I know you’re hungry.”
“It’s OK. I didn’t want mystery meat Sloppy Joes anyway,” one of the boys said, taking the cookies, grabbing three and passing them back. I settled on the edge of my desk.
(to be continued next week)
Jesus is at God’s right hand: Colossians 3:1
Jesus prays for us: Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25
We’ll be transformed: Phil 3:20-21
“Like Him”: I John 3:2