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Leave to remain. The miracle of the Ascension, "the joy of separation"

June 9 2005

Today, at the 40 th day after Easter, Orthodox Christians celebrate one of the 12 great feasts of the church year - the Ascension. 40 days ago, a miracle of Resurrection , a pivotal moment in human history.

And today, the disciples of Christ were talking with a teacher who suddenly said: "... well written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and be preached in his name, repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Go around the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. "

Then the Savior told His disciples that far off day when he will send them the Holy Spirit, but until then ordered them to remain in Jerusalem. Talking with the apostles, the Saviour slowly led them out of town toward Bethany, Mount of Olives. Pupils, happy words of the Savior, surrounded him and asked: "do not at this time, O Lord, You restore again the kingdom to Israel?"

The Savior said: "Do not you to know times or seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. But you shall receive power when the Spirit comes on you Holy One, and will preach about me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth . Having said this, Jesus Christ, raised his hands and blessed the students. And when the blessing, began to slowly ascend into the sky and quickly disappeared behind the clouds ...

The disciples worshiped ascended Master and stops to a long looked at the sky. Then appeared before them two angels in white robes, and said: "Men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall come again to earth in the same way (ie, in human flesh), as you saw Him go into heaven. " After this, the disciples of Jesus Christ returned to Jerusalem and remained there all along, waiting bequeathed Teacher descent of the Holy Spirit. This will happen after 10 days, Spirit Day.

Ascended into heaven, Jesus Christ, by his own promise, invisibly present on the ground among the believers in Him: "Behold, I remain with you until the end of the century ..." And in the end times He would return to earth visibly, to judge the living and the dead who then resurrected. After that comes "the life of the next century."

On the day of the Ascension ending Easter days and begins a new stage in world history - the "last days". No matter, says publicist church deacon Andrei Kuraev, will be the end of the world and on Judgement Day a hundred years or a million years, basically what we live on the last leg of history, which ends the second coming of the Savior.

A brilliant Christian philosopher, recently deceased, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh in one of his sermons on the Ascension Day said:

"Ascension Day - the mysterious holiday, when we are happy about separation. Christ, talking with his disciples on the last evening before His death on the cross, they say: Better you that I walked away, because when I returned back from you, I will send you the Spirit, the Comforter, which will guide you into all truth ... We rejoice for this victory of the Lord, this praise of man, and with it, like the disciples in the early days, as students during all the centuries, we remain on earth orphans. When Christ was among us, He was the light. After His ascension, we find ourselves in the twilight or darkness of our personal lives and in the dark fate of mankind on earth.

for Christ promised that He will not leave us orphans, that He would send us the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which comes and development we certify that the risen and exalted Christ really - the Lord our God, that He really sits at the right hand of God the Father but, at the same time, according to his wondrous promise, He is with us until the end of the century. It acts in the history of the world, saves, transforms, leads all the latest triumph, the last victory. And the victory of God - this is our salvation. "


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