By J.R. Miller
The last walk was along a familiar way. The Master and His disciples had often gone over it before, and every foot of it had its sacred associations for them. He talked with them as they walked. What would we not give, to have the words He spoke to them! They must have been words of deep revealing, full of love. Their hearts were strangely comforted by what He said. They never forgot those farewell words!
We like to remember the way a friend looked the last time we saw him, what he was doing, especially if it was some kindness to us. We like to recall the love that was on his face and in his eyes, as he talked to us before he went away. It is interesting to think of the last glimpse of Christ which His people had, before the cloud enfolded Him and hid Him forever from their view. He was in the act of blessing His disciples. It was while His hands were lifted up, and words of love and grace were falling from His lips, that He began to rise. It is no fantasy to believe that this is the constant attitude of Christ toward His people inside the gates of heaven.
This earth is not the only world. Jesus went away into heaven--but His life was not ended when He vanished from human sight. We do not see Him--but He sees us! He is making intercession for us before the Father. It makes heaven very real to us, to think of Christ there. The first face we shall see when we reach our eternal home--will be a face like our own, the Face of our Master.
If we truly love Christ--Heaven draws our hearts upward. We are exhorted to seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God. This does not mean that we are to neglect our earthly duties, spending our time in spiritual raptures while our work is left undone. The angels called the disciples from their heavenward gazing, and turned their thoughts to the duties that were waiting.
Pensive gazing is not pleasing to God--working and witnessing are far better. When our friends are taken from us, we are not forbidden to sorrow--but we are forbidden to sorrow in a way that would keep us from duty and service. Our Master wants us to go back to our tasks again after a bereavement, thoughtful and serious, yet earnest and faithful, inspired by heavenly hopes--but ready ever for earthly duties!