More On Acts 1:12
Following the Lord's Ascension we learn: Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. Acts 1:12.
Does the Holy Spirit include this information in Luke's gospel merely to geographically orient the hearer? Unlikely. But rather to theologically orient him!
Relevant to our verse is: Zechariah 14:3-4 "Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward."
This is a prophecy of the Messiah, the Christ, the “Oiled” or “anointed” One who ascended from, and will (liturgically) return to "Olive Mountain".
Why *this* mountain? Why was it so endowed, and so named? Oil is the symbol of the Spirit; which we first learn when the Dove returns to the Ark of the Church with an olive branch.
The now-nearly-defunct city of God is located “a Sabbath's day journey from” – “west of” Olive Mountain. Olive Mountain, the place from which the Lord ascended "to fill all things." And the place to which he will (liturgically) return to restore the Kingdom of God to earth. And so all Christian theology, Christian worship and Christian hope is oriented eastward. To the direction of the Rising Sun of Righteousness.
But the “Sabbath’s day journey” is not only a temporal reality, but a theological one. The Lord’s Sabbath’s Day journey was from death to resurrection; and so is ours in baptism.
And so all eyes are now on Olive Mountain. On the Christ who was baptized by the Spirit in Jordan, and by fire on the cross for us. All eyes are on that Spirit he fully possesses, and richly distributes to all flesh. All eyes on the church, which is now Olive Mountain.
Yes, they returned to Jerusalem. There they attended the temple's final breath; and the Spirit's first! Said journey was something like a step back. A cocking of the spring so to speak; but only in order to launch it forward. Jerusalem is now dead to us. It has no religious significance at all for Christians. Mt. Zion is now leveled, Mount Olive raised to touch heaven. It is the place where Christ our dear Savior locates himself, and to which he invites us to Commune with him. The place where we obtain life, salvation, joy, peace, gladness, courage, calm and the comfort of the Comforter, whom the Father sends in Jesus’ name.
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