Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to 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.” 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 1:6-11)
We’re in a four-week series exploring what Easter means for our work. Two weeks ago, we saw how Easter gives us an identity work can never provide. Last week, we saw how Easter gives us a King worthy of our allegiance. This morning, we see that King Jesus gives us a mission to carry out.
As I mentioned last week, Easter can be thought of as a sort of Inauguration Day, ushering in the Kingdom of God in which Jesus is King. As we know from our modern experience, Inauguration Day is the moment in which power is transferred from one regime to another. But here’s the thing: An inauguration is powerless unless the leader’s followers share the news of the transfer of power.
Easter declared that Jesus—not Caesar or any other earthly authority—is the ultimate, rightful King. But somebody had to share that good news—what Jesus called the “gospel of the Kingdom” (see Matthew 24:14).
That’s the mission Jesus gave to Mary at the tomb (see John 20:17). And as today’s passage shows, it’s also the mission Jesus gave to us: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
King Jesus has given us a mission to be His ambassadors throughout the world, declaring His lordship over every square inch of creation, including our places of work. We are called to reveal Jesus’s kingship and to use our work to bring us one step closer to His Kingdom being “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
What does that look like practically? It looks like medical professionals developing vaccines for deadly viruses, because in the Kingdom “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (see Revelation 21:4). It looks like artists creating beautiful things, because the Kingdom is filled with beauty (see Revelation 21:2). It looks like leaders being “persecuted because of righteousness” and doing the right thing, because “theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (see Matthew 5:10). It looks like all of us heralding the good news of the gospel so that our co-workers might come to know Jesus the King (see Matthew 28:16-20).
Easter made clear that Jesus is King and He has given us a mission to be ambassadors announcing His reign. Let us all work to reveal His Kingdom today!