He lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Jesus’ ascension had to be at least somewhat difficult for the disciples. They had spent three amazing years with Jesus! And now it was becoming clear that Jesus’ presence with them was going to be changing. While he had promised to be with them always, he wouldn’t be sitting down to have a meal with them, walking the roads with them, or chatting with them any longer. That had to be a bit difficult.
But that was nothing compared to what was coming. Very soon they would be persecuted and imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus. Eventually, eleven of the twelve would die as martyrs because they believed and told people that Jesus was the Savior. The disciples were about to face some very difficult days.
And so what did Jesus do? He lifted up his hands and blessed them. Did you notice the detail? It doesn’t say that he blessed them and then left them. It says, “While he was blessing them, he left them…” Those hands of Jesus were up in blessing, and they remained up in blessing!
Remember, this was the last time the disciples saw Jesus. This sight would stick in their minds. So when the disciples faced imprisonment, persecution, even martyrdom, they could picture Jesus blessing them.
And sure, the disciples might have had a hard time understanding how the things that happened to them could be a blessing. But it didn’t matter if they could figure it out. They had that wonderful sight of Jesus’ hands still up as he left them! He was blessing them, and he always would!
He is still blessing his people, including you. Picture this the next time you are being persecuted and picked on for your faith in him. Picture this the next time you are facing any danger or difficulty. Picture your ascended Lord, hands up, blessing you.
Wow! What a sight!
O Savior, remind me that you are always blessing me and that you always will! Amen.