Separation. Loss. Alone-ness. But also victory and glory and wonder and power and sheer unimaginable amazement!
All of these emotions must have been present in the apostles’ and disciples’ hearts as they watched Jesus disappear for the final time in their lives. They must have been in some degree of shock, but also wonder at what they had just been privileged to witness.
Of all the people who have ever lived in the history of the world, this small band of Jesus’ followers, (we are told they numbered about 120,) had just had a front-row seat at one of the greatest events in the history of the world.
Such a counter-balance of feelings must have poured forth. Along with the greatness of the miracle they had just seen, was the sense that this was it – that Jesus was gone, and they were now on their own.
With necks stiff from staring into the cloud of the Shekinah glory of God that received Jesus into heaven, straining to make out even the last bit of Christ they could possibly see as He disappeared into the cloud for the final time, they are suddenly awakened as if from a dream by two men in white apparel jibing them to get their eyes back down to earth and get to work doing what Jesus had commanded them to do.
I find it fascinating nothing said about who these two men were, and I think it reflects the shock the apostles and disciples were in over what they had just seen. “Whaa…oh, yeah, uh…Let’s see…What had Jesus said?” (Something like that?)
What had Jesus said to do? He had told them to wait. That was their first mission apart from the risen Savior. (He had sent them out before, but they knew they would be returning to Him. Not this time.)
Jesus told them to wait. This was the most important of all the missions they would ever perform at Christ’s instruction. We are left to imagine what may have happened had they not followed Jesus’ instruction about this. (We CAN imagine it would not have been good.)
But to wait for how long – and for what purpose? And what are we to do while waiting?