Did you know that today is Ascension Day? On this, the fortieth day after resurrection Sunday, the Lord ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father until the day He returns. The gospel of Matthew ends with these words,
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in£ the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.16-20 ESV)
While Matthew did not mention the ascension, he recorded the “Great Commission,” the last charge of Jesus to His disciples. These are familiar words to most of us, but did you catch that some of the eleven disciples who gathered with Jesus on the mountain worshiped Him but some of the eleven doubted? Amazing.
The eleven had been with Jesus for three years before the crucifixion, were in the room when the resurrected Jesus appeared to them, and even now, after forty days of resurrection appearances, some of the eleven still doubted. It makes me wonder if this is the reason that only some of the eleven appear in the book of Acts and in the rest of the New Testament. Could it be that the reason that we only hear of Peter, James, and John is that perhaps the rest were consumed by doubt? Purely conjecture, I know, but it makes me wonder.
So, on this great Ascension Day, if you struggle with doubts about the Son of God, I guess you are not alone. Some of the eleven still doubted, even after they walked with the resurrected Jesus. The resurrected Lord can handle our doubts, as long as we take our doubts to Jesus. “Doubting Thomas,” as we like to call him, at least was willing to allow the resurrected Jesus to conquer his doubts.
What will you do with your doubts on this Ascension Day? May we hear the words of the resurrected Lord:
“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. (Luke 24.38-39)
May you “touch and see” the resurrected Jesus today.