Ten years ago I was blessed to be given a trip to Israel. The group I was with visited all the traditional sites… Jericho, Nazareth, Site of the Sermon on the Mount, Bethlehem, Gordon’s Calvary, Jacob’s well, along with a number of sites in Jerusalem it’s self. It was awesome to see so many places I had read about in The Bible.
While in the Garden of Gethsemenae, I read the passage from Matthew 26 of Jesus’ arrest and was deeply moved. But I was most moved in The Church Of All Nations that is next to the Garden. It is built around a rock that (Traditionally) was where Jesus prayed “If it is your will, let this cup pass from me… Never the less, not my will be done, but Yours.” I couldn’t help weeping uncontrollably at the thought of the cost of my salvation.
But that wasn’t the high point of my visit to the Holy City. There was only one place I wanted to see while in Israel. There was only one place that really mattered I not miss. It was more important than all the other places put together for me. The Mount of Olives…
The only thing I wanted to make sure and bring back were rocks (!) from The Mount Of Olives! Why? Because that was where Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:1-11). There it is written…
Acts 1:9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (ESV)
I wanted to stand where Jesus would be when He comes back in all His glory and power! All the historical stuff was neat, but I’m looking forward much more than looking back.
It was 10 years ago I stood on The Mount of Olives… and looked up toward heaven. One of these days, Jesus WILL come back to earth. As it is written In Scripture, “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt 24:27, ESV)
This Christmas we will look back to the manger… but hopefully only for a moment. It is more Biblical to look up. Because any moment… at the twinkling of an eye… like a flash of lightening… a trumpet may blow and an angel proclaim the return of The King. Then Jesus Himself will come back and set his foot down on the Mount of Olives!
Are you ready? Am I ready? Are we ready?
Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!