Happy Ascension Day!
In Acts 1:9 we read: “And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Ascension Day is more than just commemorating an event in the life of Jesus. Rather, it is an event that has significant meaning for the church.
Consider these four thoughts about the significance of the ascension of Jesus and how to celebrate it.
The Coronation of Jesus as King: The ascension of Jesus is equivalent to the coronation of Jesus as ruler over all things. “The LORD says to my Lord, sit at my right hand” (Psalm 110:1). Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:9, that God has highly exalted Jesus above every name. In Revelation 4-5, we are given a sneak peek into the heavenly throne room of God where we see all of heaven bowing before our ascended Lord. Here they sing in unison, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power, and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” Join heaven today with songs of praise for the ascended Lord!
Redemption has been completed: We are told in Hebrews 1:3 that when Jesus had made purification for our sins, “he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” This is called “the session of Christ.” The work of redemption has been completed. Jesus lived for us, died for us and rose from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins. The work of redemption is done and his “session” at the throne of God demonstrates that he has authority to forgive us of our sins. Rest your faith in the finished work of Jesus on your behalf.
The kingdom of God has come: The kingdom of God is the rule of God. There is coming a day when things will “be done on earth as they are in heaven.” But even though you can’t fully see it, through Jesus Christ and his ascension, God has inaugurated his kingdom rule and it is found in the hearts of those who turn in faith to Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, who is “the down payment” (Eph. 1:13-14) and the “first fruits” of the coming kingdom (Rom. 8:22-23), God’s rule is taking shape in our hearts and by his grace he is transforming our lives. Ask for the filling of the Spirit today that you might possess a loving and servant’s heart.
We are his witnesses: Coupled with the story of the ascension of Jesus is the call to bear witness to this world that Jesus is both Savior and Lord. We are to proclaim the hope of the gospel to this world so that they too can come to know God, have their sins forgiven and experience the benefit of the kingdom rule of God in their hearts. Prior to his ascending to heaven, Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After ascending into heaven, the angel said to the disciples who were staring up into the sky, “why do you stand looking into heaven?” These words are for us as well. This is not a time to be idle. This is a time to be active, for while there is time, we are to bear testimony to Jesus so that others may come to saving faith. Pray for open doors to gently and graciously share with others the story of how God’s love and grace through Jesus Christ has transformed your heart and life.
Happy Ascension Day!
Celebrate it this way:
Worship Jesus, the exalted King of kings. Rest your faith in the finished work of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Ask for the filling of the Spirit that the blessings of God’s rule might shine through you. Pray for an opportunity to bear witness today to the goodness of Jesus in your life.
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