Happy Ascension Day
The celebrating of events that are on the traditional church calendar has been lost to many of the Protestant churches. It is too bad because the calendar is a great teaching tool. Today is 40 days after Easter and known as Ascension Day. There are several reasons we should rejoice on such a day as we contemplate the importance of Jesus ascending to the Father.
In his book The Work of Christ, R.C. Sproul explains how the disciples had come to understand why and where Jesus was going. From here he shows four great results of Christ’s ascension.
#1. Glorification. “When Jesus departed this world on the shekinah cloud, He was going back to the realm of glory. He was going to receive the glory that He enjoyed with the Father from all eternity. So, the ascension was a glorious thing. That is why, after He ascended, the disciples went back into Jerusalem and praised God in the temple. They understood that their Master was getting His glory back. His humiliation was over, and His exaltation had begun.”
#2. Coronation. “In the ascension, Jesus went up to His coronation. He did not go up simply to enter into His rest. He went up for His investiture service. He ascended to the throne, to the right hand of God, where He was given dominion, power, and authority over the whole earth. The Lamb who was slain became the Lion of Judah, who now reigns over the earth.”
#3. The Gift of the Comforter. “One of the most important reasons for Jesus’ ascension was that Pentecost might take place, that the Father and the Son might pour out the Spirit on the church to strengthen it and empower it for its earthly mission. As we all know, to witness for Christ in a corrupt world requires strength greater than our own. John Calvin said that the most important task of the church is to be the visible witness of the invisible kingdom, and for that we need the Holy Spirit.”
#4. The Ministry of the High Priest. “We have a great High Priest who offered a sacrifice for us on the cross once and for all—His own blood. That portion of His priestly ministry is finished. But His priestly work for us goes on as He intercedes for us. … Today, Jesus is in heaven, interceding for you and me, if indeed we belong to Him, and His prayers for us are equally effective. We should rejoice that He has taken up this priestly ministry on our behalf in the heavenly tabernacle.”
The ascension is often left out of the verbiage of the gospel but when you consider the importance of Christ ascending and the coming of the Holy Spirit, it comes down to no ascension – no salvation.
“He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he sall come to judge the quick and the dead” .. The Apostles’ Creed
HAPPY ASCENSION DAY