Jesus stayed on earth for forty days after his resurrection, demonstrating that he was alive and giving further teaching on the kingdom of God. The gospel accounts showcase Jesus’s earthly ministry, but now it was time to transition. Jesus had prepared his disciples to follow in his footsteps and continue the ministry. Everything the disciples and the early church did “was rooted in and connected to the activity in which the risen Jesus was involved.” So much that “without Jesus and his work, one cannot make sense of the church’s existence and activity.”
Yes, Jesus had a mission for the disciples to undertake, but He didn’t leave them alone. He commanded them to stay in Jerusalem to wait for the promised Holy Spirit. They still had questions, though: “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
Jesus’s response—”It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7)—reminds us that not all our questions will be answered right away, and that’s okay.
Jesus strengthens and enables us to face the mission set before us: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The word power is connected with the Holy Spirit and relates to the idea of “being empowered to speak boldly by testifying to the message of God’s work through Jesus.”
The word witness refers to telling what we’ve known and experienced. Throughout the book of Acts, witnesses testified to their own personal encounters with Jesus and verified that they had seen the resurrected Christ with their own eyes. In other words, the disciples were able to validate the message through their “verifiable observation.”