At the end of this month we’ll be marking forty days since our celebration of Easter. It was at that time that Jesus left his disciples and ascended into heaven. The disciples asked Jesus just before he left if he was now going “restore the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). They still had it in their minds that the messiah is supposed to bring in an earthly kingdom. Why is that? Well, the Old Testament speaks of a day when God’s kingdom will be all in all. There are sweeping promises of God’s reign and rule through his anointed one when injustice and oppression will cease. Even today many Jews reject Jesus as Messiah precisely because he did not bring in this reign of literal, physical peace on earth. There is the unusual case of Pinchas Lapide, a Jewish diplomat and historian, who accepts the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection and believes that Jesus is the Messiah of the Gentiles (non-Jews) but says that only the return of Jesus to rule on earth will show him to be the Jewish messiah.