Me ~ Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. "(John 11:25-26)
What is the importance of this for Christians?
John ~ Its everything. It is the whole point for Jesus to come to earth. To take the sin of the world away. It is why we are called Christians. Without the resurrection, there is no life.
Me ~ Most Christians know that Jesus resurrected on the third day which was foretold as we can read in the Old Testament and even Jesus himself told of his resurrection 'on the third day' numerous times and even the night before He was crucified. He did resurrect on the third day which was relevant for His ministry to the Jewish people. And, he did.
However, He did not ascend into heaven until forty days after his resurrection, Jesus called his 11 apostles (Judas committed suicide) together on the Mount of Olives, outside Jerusalem.
Still not completely understanding that Christ's messianic mission had
been spiritual and not political, the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. They were
frustrated with Roman oppression and may have envisioned an overthrow
Jesus answered them. It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set
by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit
comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8, NIV)
Then Jesus was taken up, and a cloud hid him from their sight. As the disciples were watching him ascend, two angels dressed in white robes stood beside them and asked them why they were looking into the sky. The angels said to the disciples - "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11, NIV)
What was the importance of this?
John ~ During these forty days, Jesus was showing people that he was still alive. Jesus wanted the disciples to see that He was going to an actual physical place. Since, He was able to do that, He would be able to return. He actually went somewhere. Again, Jesus did this so that they disciples would know that he would return.
Me ~ Do you think that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near?
John ~ Yes, I do. Jesus told the disciples to watch for the signs and seasons in order to know His second coming. He admonished the religious leaders of Israel for being able to tell what season of the year and the weather ... why could they not do the same for the signs and seasons that God told them about?
Me ~ Why has it taken so long? I mean didn't the disciples expect Jesus to return in their lifetime and here we are today, still waiting.
John ~ Jesus never said how long he was going to be gone. He never said how long the last days would be... they could have been 2,000 plus years. In the old Testament, to God a thousand years is a day and a day is a thousand years. While this could have been figurative, ti would still have the same meaning whether literal or figurative since time is different God in comparison to us... in heaven's time, it could only have been couple of days.
We cannot measure God's time in our puny life spans. When you set the age of the earth next to eternity, it pales and disappears. However, He did give us certain signs and season to watch for to know that His coming was close, even at the door... about to knock. One of these signs was the reestablishment of the nation of Israel.
After a long period of being gone from the land. In fact, this is the central sign and season that everything else is measured by. In 1948, Israel became a nation after 2,000 years. Which means that the prophetic clock is closer to midnight than it was before 1948,