Why do we need each other?
How often have you heard someone say, "I've got Jesus in my heart"? Metaphorically speaking it may be so, but reality is so different, because when Jesus left this Earth for heaven, it was the Holy Spirit who took his place and who lives in the hearts of believers.
So if Jesus is not in our hearts, where in heaven is he now? That's exactly where he is and he has been there since his ascension.
"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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 1:9-11)
So Jesus is in heaven. He is on his throne, at the right hand of God the Father. He's not whiling away his time contemplating his navel, he's busier now than he's ever been. He is interceding for us before God. He is our heavenly advocate, just as the devil is our accuser. And as none of us are perfect, there's a real battle going on over us. But there will be an end to it one day. Jesus is waiting for the big day. He's ready to get dressed up for his return.
"And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance." (Revelation 1:12-16).
One like a son of man, eh? Where have we heard that before? Well, the above is an allusion to Daniel 7:13-14.
"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."
Of course, as we have already read, when Jesus first came to the Earth he identified in no uncertain terms with this supernatural figure, but he always said that his time to reveal himself completely in this role had not yet come.
"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:27)
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory". (Matthew 25:31)
This is the Christian view, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But what is the Jewish expectation? To find out we have to return to the aftermath of Jesus' first visit to Earth.
This we shall do next week.
(This is an abridged extract from Steve's book Jesus Man of Many Names)