The ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, according to Christian theology, occurred on the 40th day following his Resurrection (Easterbeing reckoned as the first day). When it comes to the universality of its commemoration among Christians, the Feast of the Ascension stands with Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Because of this, the feast has been commemorated 40 days following Easter in both Eastern and Western Christian traditions since the 4th century. Prior to then, the Ascension was honored as part of the celebration of the descending of the Holy Spirit, which took place on the Feast of the Transfiguration.
To illustrate a new relationship between Jesus and his Father, as well as a new relationship between Jesus and his followers, the Gospel According to John draws on both the sayings of Jesus and his post-Resurrection appearances, rather than a mere physical move from earth to heaven.
The church year is divided as follows: Ascension The Ascension (from the Latin ascensio, “ascent”) of Christ into heaven was first remembered by the church, and then the Resurrection (from the Latin resurrection, “resurrection”).
Scripture and observances
When Jesus appeared to the Apostles on various occasions over a period of 40 days, according to the first chapter of The Acts of the Apostles, he was taken up in their presence and hidden from them by a cloud, which is a common biblical image symbolizing God’s presence and which is represented by a cloud in the Bible. However, while belief in the Ascension is evident in other books of the New Testament, the focus and imagery used in those works are different. According to the Gospel of John, the glorification portrayed by the Ascension tale appears to have occurred immediately following the Resurrection.
The Ascension of Jesus is included in the Apostles’ Creed, which was a statement of faith used for baptism in the early church at the time of Jesus.
Despite the sense of separation implied in this act, which could be expected to establish a tone of melancholy, the entire liturgical season of Ascensiontide, from the 10 days before Pentecost, is marked by gladness as the rising Lord triumphs in the final victory over death and hell.
For want of a better phrase, Christ “was hoisted up into heaven so that he may make us heirs with him of his Godhead.” When the people of Europe were enthralled by the visual and theatrical arts during the Middle Ages, they found an expression in a variety of ceremonial acts that were connected with the feast.
There was a parade in imitation of Christ’s trip with his Apostles to theMount of Olives, and a crucifix or a figure of Jesus Christ was raised through a hole in the church ceiling, among other rituals.
The Ascension is an ancient motif in Christian art, with depictions of it dating back to the 5th century. The oldest depiction of the Ascension, which was popular in the Western world until the 11th century, portrays Christ approaching from the side, rising to the summit of the hill, and clutching the hand of God, which emerges from a cloud above to draw him into the presence of God. The Apostles, who have gathered below, are keeping an eye on the proceedings. Another rendition of the Ascension was made in Syria in the 6th century and was later used in Byzantine artwork.
- He holds a scroll in his hands and makes a gesture of blessing.
- Paul, who was not present since he was not present according to historical records.
- Peter, an allegory of the church that Christ departs behind.
- Similarly, by the 11th century, the Western world had embraced a frontal depiction of the world.
- The mandorla is frequently surrounded by angels; nevertheless, he is not always supported or even surrounded by angels; as a result, he is no longer carried to heaven, but instead ascends by his own strength.
- When it comes to religious subjects, the Ascension was a popular choice during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, when both periods incorporated the iconography of Christ with his wounds on show.
What is the meaning and importance of the ascension of Jesus Christ?
Answer In the days following his resurrection from the dead, Jesus “presented Himself alive” (Acts 1:3) to the women who had gathered around the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10), to His disciples (Luke 24:36-43), and to a crowd of more than 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6). During the days after His resurrection, Jesus instructed His followers about the nature of God’s kingdom (Acts 1:3). Jesus and His followers traveled to Mount Olivet, which is located near Jerusalem, forty days after the resurrection.
- Jesus then blessed them and proceeded to climb into the heavens as soon as he finished blessing them.
- The Scriptures make it clear that Jesus’ ascension was a genuine, physical return to the presence of the Father.
- A cloud obscured Jesus from the disciples’ vision as they strained to catch a last sight of Him, then two angels arrived and vowed that Christ would return “in exactly the same way that you have watched Him leave” (Acts 1:11).
- After sending His Son into the world at Bethlehem out of love, God the Father was bringing the Son back home to be with the Father.
- 2) It represented the completion of His earthly mission.
- The return of His celestial splendour was symbolized by this event.
- 4) It represented His elevation to the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20-23).
- 5) It provided Him with the opportunity to provide a place for us (John 14:2).
- 7) It established a precedent for His return.
- At the moment, the Lord Jesus is in the presence of the Father.
God the Father is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18), the provider of spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:7-8), and the One who fills everything in everything (Colossians 1:26-27). (Ephesians 4:9-10).
What Really Happened in the Ascension of Jesus?
The ascension of Jesus represents Christ’s passage from earth to heaven following his life, ministry, death, and resurrection. It occurs after his death and resurrection. The ascension is described in the Bible as a passive event in which Jesus was “taken up” into heaven. God the Father raised the Lord to his right hand in heaven as a result of Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of the Father. Moreover, during his ascension, Jesus told his disciples that he would soon pour forth the Holy Spirit on them and inside them.
Question for Reflection
Jesus’ ascension into heaven made it possible for the Holy Spirit to come and indwell His disciples on earth. Realizing that God himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, resides inside me as a believer is an awe-inspiring realization. Is it possible for me to take full use of this opportunity to learn more about Jesus and to live a life that pleases God?
The ascension ofJesus Christ into the heavens is recorded in the following scriptures:
- 1 Timothy 3:16
- Mark 16:19-20
- Luke 24:36-53
- Acts 1:6-12
- 1 Timothy 3:16
The Ascension of Jesus Story Summary
Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of mankind, died, and was raised from the grave as part of God’s plan of redemption. Following his resurrection, Christ appeared to his followers on a number of occasions. The Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem, was the site of Jesus’ summoning of his eleven apostles forty days following his resurrection. The disciples, still not fully grasping the fact that Christ’s messianic mission had been spiritual rather than political in nature, inquired of Jesus whether he intended to restore the kingdom of Israel to its former glory.
Jesus responded by saying, “It is not for you to know the times or dates that the Father has established by his own authority.” However, when the Holy Spirit descends upon you, you will be anointed with authority, and you will go out throughout all of Judea and Samaria, as well as to the ends of the world, to bear testimony for me.
It is in the public domain.
While the disciples were staring up into the sky, two angels clad in white robes approached them and inquired as to why they were looking up into the heavens.
Points of Interest
- The ascension of Jesus to the right hand of the Father is one of the basic teachings of Christianity. The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed all affirm that Christ went into heaven and now sits at the right hand ofGod the Father
- During Jesus’ ascension, a cloud veiled his appearance to those who witnessed it. Throughout the Bible, a cloud is frequently used to represent God’s power and glory, such as in the book of Exodus, where the Jews were guided through the desert by a pillar of cloud
- The Old Testament records two other human ascensions in the lives ofEnoch(Genesis 5:24) andElijah(2 Kings 2:1–2)
- And the ascension of Jesus allowed eyewitnesses to witness both the resurrected Christ on earth and the Jesus Christ’s ability to bridge the divide between the human and divine realms is demonstrated once more in this incident.
Earlier, Jesus had promised his followers that the Holy Spirit would descend upon them and fill them with power once he ascended into heaven. They received the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire on the Feast of Pentecost. Today, every believer who has been born again is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who provides knowledge and strength for living the Christian life. The gift of languages is given to the apostles (Acts 2). It is in the public domain. Throughout his final commandment, Jesus instructed his disciples to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the furthest reaches of the world.
- Every Christian has a responsibility to share the good news of Jesus with those who have not yet heard it.
- As a result of his adoption into the human race, he will eternally remain completely God and entirely man in his exalted condition.
- Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is now and forever elevated above all creation, deserving of our adoration and allegiance (Philippians 2:9-11).
The angels foretold that Jesus would return in his glorified form, in the same manner in which he had gone. However, instead of sitting about waiting for Christ’s Second Coming, we should be actively engaged in the tasks Christ has entrusted to us.
- The Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary (p. 439)
- The Lexham Bible Dictionary
- The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 123)
- The Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary (p. 439)
What Jesus’s Ascension Does for Us
It’s possible that it’s the most significant doctrine you’ve never heard of. It’s written in the Bible. It’s spelled forth in the Apostles’ Creed. Furthermore, the church will celebrate this event today, May 30. I’m referring to Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of the Father (Luke 24:50–51; Acts 1:9–11). I’m not sure why we choose to ignore the ascension of Christ. It’s possible that the crucifixion and resurrection have cast a shadow over it. Perhaps we’re a little embarrassed by a narrative that makes Superman fly off into space sound so fantastical.
Here are four reasons why the ascension is significant.
1. The Ascension Explains Jesus’s Absence
If Jesus were no longer alive, there would be no need to explain his absence. (After all, none of us is perplexed as to why we haven’t met Peter, Paul, or Julius Caesar in our lives.) But he isn’t—and as a result, it does. We revere and adore a man we’ve never met before in our lives. And it isn’t only us Christians of the twenty-first century who are affected. It was also true of many first-century Christians, according to historical evidence. “Though you have not seen him, you adore him,” Peter wrote to the churches in Asia Minor in his first letter (1 Pet.
- This bittersweet fact is so clear that we tend to take it for granted, which is unfortunate.
- Jesus is more alive now than he was 2,000 years ago when he raised Lazarus from the dead.
- There’s only one reason why this isn’t possible: Because Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after resurrecting from the dead.
- “He is not here; he has ascended,” the angels declared as they pointed to the empty tomb in Matthew 28:6.
2. The Ascension Enthrones Jesus at the Father’s Right Hand
The ascension isn’t primarily about what Jesus was leaving behind, but rather about where he was going and why he was going. I’ve referred to it as “bittersweet,” and I’ve concentrated on the bitter aspect of the experience. The ascension, on the other hand, should be a beautiful memory for everybody who follows Jesus. The ascension symbolized Jesus’ return to his homeland. Returning to his Father’s side. The keys of Death were in his nail-scarred hand, and he was returning to the place where he had resided in magnificent love from all eternity (John 1:1, 18; 13:1; 17:5, 11, 13, 23)—but this time with the keys of Death in his nail-scarred hand (Rev.
- Consider the welcome celebration that would be held.
- Jesus’ ascension to the right side of the Father is constantly mentioned in the Scriptures (Ps.
- 1:20, 1 Peter 3:22, to name a few examples).
- What strategy did he use to win?
- This is shown in Revelation 5:5–6, where the Lion who has prevailed is depicted as a lamb who has been killed but is now standing up in victory.
- Rather, it was the ascension that placed Jesus in the position in which John saw him standing—in the presence of a throng of elders, living creatures, and saints who were all praising him and his Father (Rev.
This is the message of Psalm 110:1, which is the most often referenced passage from the Old Testament in the New Testament: According to my Lord, “The LORD says to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your adversaries your footstool.” The ascension is the means by which he arrived (Acts 2:33–34).
It was this that led to his being crowned king, “ruling in the middle of his foes” (Ps. 110:1).
3. The Ascension Allows Him to Continue His Priestly Work for Us
However, as Psalm 110 makes clear, Jesus’ ascension also has something to do with his priesthood (v. 4). When we think of Jesus’ priesthood, we automatically conjure up images of his laying down his life on the cross for us. And with good reason. The crucifixion is the most important thing (1 Corinthians 15:3–4). It was at this point that Jesus declared, “It is completed” (John 19:30). However, we must not interpret the phrase “It is completed” to imply that nothing further was required in order for us to be saved.
- It continues to this day in heaven, where Christ “appears in the face of God on our behalf,” according to the Bible (Heb.
- And the fact that he has made it there has everything to do with the sacrifice he made.
- and so secure an eternal redemption” (Heb.
- Take note of the following: Our permanent salvation was ensured not only by Jesus’ death on the cross, but also by his ascension into heaven, which was accomplished via his own blood.
- For this reason, the ascension is referred to by theologian Robert Peterson as “the major linchpin of Christ’s redeeming work”—because it marks the beginning of the shift from Jesus’ earthly ministry to his heavenly ministry.
- The fact that Jesus has gone into heaven and taken his place is regarded as evidence that his cross-work was fruitfully completed.
- Rather, it is a necessary extension of them in order for our redemption to be put into effect.
- 7:23–24 explains that Christ’s ability to “save to the uttermost” is not only due to his death on the cross, but also due to the fact that “he constantly lives to make intercession for us” in heaven.
- And every priest is at his disposal 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving the same sacrifices over and over again, which can never atone for sins.
- It is for this reason that he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified by the giving of a single sacrifice.
(Hebrews 10:11–14; see also 1:4) We may “hold fast our confession” because we have a high king who has died on the cross, as well as a “high priest who has gone through the heavens” (Heb. 4:14).
4. The Ascension Serves as the Launching Pad for His Conquest and Return
There was no coincidence in Jesus’ ascent into paradise. He may have been sat, but he hasn’t been sitting about doing nothing. On the contrary, it was from the throne of God that Jesus started his final-days onslaught after smashing the head of Satan’s resistance on the cross of Calvary. It all started on Pentecost, when he poured out the Holy Spirit and began the process of releasing the nations from oppression. The ascension had several major objectives, according to Jesus: “It is to your advantage that I go away, because if I do not go away, the Helper will not come.” “However, if I have to go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
- This is the result of the Holy Spirit’s labor.
- (Luke 24:49; John 7:39).
- This period will not remain indefinitely, and the purpose will not be fulfilled with Jesus seated at the table.
- As a member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit serves as a conduit for the power and presence of both the Father and the Son, allowing us to experience Jesus’ presence in a tangible way even now (Rom.
- 3:17; Gal.
- The reason Jesus can promise to remain with us until the end of the age—until the crop is collected and the mission is completed—despite the fact that he is in heaven is because of this (Matt.
- However, this age will not remain indefinitely, and the mission will not be fulfilled with Jesus seated at the table.
His enemies will be made his footstool, his friends will be made his vice-regents, and his creation will be made a Paradise (Ps.
The ascension isn’t a stopping place; it’s a launching pad.
3:20; Acts 3:21).
3:20; Acts 3:21).
Until then, we wait.
Don’t Waste the Ascension
Please do not sit down just yet, as our job is not yet completed. Instead of “squandering” the ascent, we should let it to complete its task perfectly. Even as we strive to be loyal on earth, let us foster a desire to “depart and be with Christ,” which is “much better,” even while we strive to be faithful in this life (Phil. 1:21–26). Jesus is king, so let us adore and bow down before him, acknowledging that the cosmos is not a democratic institution. So, knowing that Jesus is our high priest, let us come confidently before the throne of grace, certain that we have an Advocate who has walked our path and experienced our suffering (Heb.
4:14–16; 1 John 2:1). In addition, Jesus is returning; therefore, let us join the Spirit’s mission to make Jesus’ name known throughout the world. Moreover, if all of this appears to be somewhat heavenly in nature, that is understandable. That is exactly what the ascension does (Col. 3:1–4).
The Ascension of Jesus – What was the Meaning and Significance?
The ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven is considered to be one of the most significant events in the history of the world as documented in the New Testament. In spite of the fact that it is an important part of Scripture, it does not receive much attention today, including among Christians. My hunch is that you haven’t read any books about it or listened to many sermons about it, which is understandable. Normally, we concentrate on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ascension, on the other hand, is crucial, particularly in the Gospels of Luke.
- The gospel that bears his name is contained in Volume One.
- As a result, the ascension was so significant to Luke that he concluded volume one with a report on it (Luke 24:50-51), began volume two with another report on it (Acts 1:9-11), and then referred to it multiple times throughout the book of Acts.
- resurrection and ascension) is presented by Luke as the salvific event, according to Joel Green, a New Testament scholar who specializes in Luke’s writings.
- For starters, the ascension explains why the appearances of Jesus over the forty days following his resurrection came to an end after that point.
- “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here gazing into the heavens?” says Jesus.
- However, there’s more to it than just that.
- Jesus’ resurrection and ascension are discussed in Acts 2 in light of Psalm 16 and Psalm 110, and we are told that Jesus was elevated to “the right hand of God” after his ascension.
Did Jesus Really Ascend to Heaven?
If the resurrection is denied, then there is no place for ascension, as a matter of course. If, on the other hand, it is shown that Jesus of Nazareth did, in fact, rise from the grave, then it is also evident that He ascended into heaven at some point. No time should be wasted in debate with individuals who are convinced of the validity of the New Testament tale, and debate with those who are skeptical of this is also a complete waste of time. Because of the way in which the Lord Jesus is occasionally referred to, it is clear that there is an unconscious doubt about the reality of his ascension.
- An expression like this, even if it is not intended to convey this meaning, implies that the days of His Incarnation have come to an end.
- Jesus ascended to heaven in physical form, representing Himself as the victorious First-born from the grave in the ultimate victory.
- That humiliation was a step in the process by which God would bring all those who should be rescued by the triumph gained through suffering into eternal oneness with Himself.
- Right now, the Man of Nazareth, the Son of God, sits at the right hand of the Father, speaking with him.
If there are any difficulties in accepting these unequivocal statements about the ascension of Jesus, they should not be permitted to cause scepticism among those who believe. G. Campbell Morgan’s The Crises of the Christ, Book VI, Chapter XXVII, is the source for this adaptation.
Significance of Jesus’ Ascension
1. The Spirit of Christ is poured forth on the church by the risen and enthroned Christ. Jesus himself had informed his followers that it was best for him to leave them since it was only then that he would send them another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who would replace him (John 16:7-16). The Day of Pentecost, which occurred ten days following Jesus’ ascension, was a perfect example of what transpired. The power of the Holy Spirit poured upon the church, heralding the beginning of a new era in the history of salvation.
- After accomplishing redemption via his death on the cross, the risen and exalted Christ now puts the salvation he has earned into practice by bestowing the gifts of repentance and forgiveness of sins on those who seek them.
- Three, the risen and enthroned Christ is concerned about the suffering of his people as they show testimony to him in their lives.
- But he looked up into the sky, filled with the Holy Spirit, and saw the glory of God, as well as Jesus, who was standing at God’s right hand.
- The fact that all of this is true should give us tremendous encouragement!
- Luke tells us that when we get cynical about evangelism and fear that no one will react to our message, we should remember that the exalted Christ is the Leader and Savior who provides repentance and forgiveness of sin.
- As a result, we won’t have to influence anyone, and we can be certain that some individuals will in fact reply to our messages.
- Green, “‘Salvation to the End of the Earth’ (Acts 13:47): God as Saviour in the Acts of the Apostles,” in I.
On page 95 of David Peterson’s book Witness to the Gospel: Acts, published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, he says that the gospel is a witness to God’s love for us. Christianity.com has contributed the content for this page.
THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD
“However, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will gain authority, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” And as soon as he finished speaking, he was taken up into the air and carried away by a cloud, out of sight of the audience members. And as they were looking up into the heavens as he passed by, two men in white robes appeared beside them and said, “Welcome.” “Why are you standing there, men of Galilee, staring into the heavens?
While speaking to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks to his Ascension, telling her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; instead, go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father,” referring to his Father and God (John 20:17).
- As a result of this, the Lord informed them that they would be given authority by the Holy Spirit to bear his witness to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
- As the Paschal Mystery of Christ, Christ’s work of salvation was completed primarily via his Passion, death, resurrection, and Glorious Ascension into Heaven, which are collectively known as the Sacraments.
- During the forty days following his Resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to his followers on a number of occasions in a variety of settings.
- A week later, Jesus appeared to Thomas and the other disciples (John 20:26).
- Even after his ascension into Heaven, Christ Jesus appeared to his disciples at the same time and in the same place.
- On the route to Damascus, Saul was blinded by a dazzling light and told, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” This was his conversion experience (Acts 9:3-5).
- The “Spirit of Jesus” redirected Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke on their second missionary journey towards Troas, where they boarded a ship for Macedonia, marking the first recorded introduction of Christianity into Europe.
- Crispus, the synagogue’s ruler, had been baptized by Paul, and the Lord told him that he should remain in Corinth (Acts 18:9).
- Paul was in Jerusalem when the Lord appeared to him and told him that he would be “bearing testimony” to Him in Rome (Acts 23:11).
- When Jesus ascended into heaven, it marked the end of his time on earth.
In the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, “when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so where I am, you may also be” (John 14:2), we have reason to be hopeful (John 14:3).
Why Does the Ascension of Jesus Matter?
Written byShara Drimalla for the BibleProject Team 2 months have passed since The account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection receives a great deal of well-deserved attention, but there is another essential and intriguing episode in the narrative that we frequently forget about. Immediately after his resurrection, we’re informed that Jesus is “taken up” (Greek, eprtha) into the sky and disappears behind the clouds, which is how the book of Acts opens (Acts 1:9). Here’s what’s going on in the background.
When they asked him about the timing, He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs that the Father has fixed by His own authority; but when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power, and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria, and even to the farthest reaches of the earth.” And after He had spoken these things, He was raised up while they were gazing on, and He was taken away by a cloud and out of sight.
And while they were staring closely into the sky as He was leaving, two men in white garments appeared near them and stood there.
It will be in the same way that you have witnessed Him ascend into heaven that this Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will return.” The concept that Jesus “ascended” into Heaven, which is commonly referred to as the ascension, has been significant to followers of Jesus for about two thousand years (e.g.
The phrase “Jesus climbed into Heaven” means something different.
Is the meaning of the ascension just that Jesus ascended into the heavens, or is there anything else at stake?
We must take a step back and begin with the major biblical conceptions of Heaven and Earth—space God’s and human space—in order to address these issues and properly grasp Jesus’ spectacular ascension.
God’s Space and Humanity’s Space
When God created the heavens and the earth, it was the beginning of time. God speaks order into chaos at the beginning of the biblical account, therefore creating the heavens and the earth. But what exactly do the terms “heavens” and “earth” mean? The term “heavens” (Hebrew, shamayim) literally translates as “the sky” in the Hebrew language. While we commonly use the word “earth” to describe to the entire planet or globe in contemporary English, the Hebrew root word,ehrets, simply means “land.” As a result, the heavens and the earth are essentially the sky and the land, but there is more to it than that.
- The important thing to remember about this is that both locations were included in the natural, created universe.
- When ancient Hebrew writers speak of geographic places and spatial connections in the physical world, they frequently utilize these physical descriptions to depict a higher, transcendent reality that they believe exists beyond the physical world.
- And since God is transcendent, or above all, his space is defined figuratively as being above, or above, or in the heavens, as well as being in the heavens themselves.
- It is God’s goal for Heaven and Earth—for God’s space and for humanity’s space—that they will be totally merged as one entity.
Recognizing this allows us to have a greater understanding of not only the Garden and Temple, but also what it means to claim that Jesus “ascended” into heaven.
The Garden Temple and Ascension
God’s fingerprints may be found throughout creation. Moreover, God constructs another temple in the midst of this cosmic habitation, which is the garden indicated above, which is known as Eden. The first blog in The Royal Priest series was titled “Were Adam and Eve Priests in Eden?” for additional information on this topic. It is revealed in Genesis 3:24 that the garden of Eden’s entrance faced east, and it is revealed in Ezekiel that it was situated on a mountain (Ezek. 28:14,16). Consider the biblical authors’ use of geography to show a transcending reality in order to convey a message of hope.
- It’s perched above a mountain.
- Adam and Eve were figuratively ascending or descending this cosmic mountain temple in order to be in God’s presence, just as God’s royal priests had done before them.
- When Adam and Eve reach the summit of the mountain, they are entirely linked with God and integrated with his will, and they receive God’s creative word as well as his wonderful life.
- It is important to note that their ascension does not remove them from God’s physical creation, and that their “going down” to the rest of the world does not remove them from God’s divine realm.
- And, if that’s the case, how may it affect our understanding of Jesus’ ascension?
The Priests and Ascension
When we read the story of the Exodus, we see God ordering Moses and his fellow leaders to “come up” to a mountain, where they would partake of a meal in God’s presence, and then be given instructions for the Israelites (Exod. 24). Moses and the elders of Israel climb into the cloud of heavenly glory, where they will meet with God face to face. We perceive human and divine in a mystical oneness at this area, where the author depicts God as sitting on a glittering, “blue as the sky,” clean, stone floor (Exod.
God’s space and humanity’s space are interwoven as one.
The priest enters into God’s presence in order to shepherd others in the same route, all the way to the throne of grace.
Moses’ priestly ascent is a reenactment of the Eden ideal, which depicts mankind as reclining in God’s presence on a cosmic mountain temple, as seen in Genesis.
The Day of Atonement
Another priestly example may be found in the book of Leviticus, which addresses the method in which God permits Israel to grow up to completely dwell in his presence via the priestly service of the people. The Day of Atonement is described in detail in Leviticus 16-17, which is the heart of the book of Leviticus (Yom Kippur). When the high priest came to offer a specific, yearly sacrifice on this day, he would be covering the sins of the whole community of Israel, and most significantly, he would be providing a means for people to live in God’s presence.
It’s interesting to note that the Day of Atonement is the only day of the year on which the high priest would symbolically climb to God’s presence in the temple.
24:5-8), and the high priest offered a sacrifice before ascending to heaven as well (Exod (Lev.
In addition, like Moses, the high priest is the only one who is permitted to enter into the presence of God in order to speak and pray to God on behalf of the people.
In this way, we see the earliest humans, Adam and Eve, and later Moses, and the priests, all participating in this type of climbing into the presence of God, as well as the rest of humanity. What about the typical Israeli? What is their situation?
The People and Ascension
Soon after becoming king, David travels up into the high hills in the middle of Israel’s tribes and creates a capital city, Jerusalem, which is also known as Zion or the City of David, to serve as Israel’s administrative center (2 Sam. 6). The temple will be built here, and it will be styled after the Garden of Eden, with images of gold and flowers adorning the walls, with each picture leading back to the Edenic mountain garden temple (1 Kgs. 8:29-32). As a result, the temple serves as a model for the new Heaven and Earth, which will be infused with God’s presence and where mankind will once again live in connection with his way of life and his desire for all of creation.
The temple was dedicated in the year 70 CE (Gen.
Notice how, whenever the Israelites travel to Jerusalem for festivals, or when they are going to sacrifice in the temple, or when they are going to worship, the biblical authors always write that they are “going up” (or ascending) to Jerusalem, regardless of whether they are going to sacrifice or worship (e.g.
Regardless of whether or whether the people were truly ascending in elevation or traveling north, the biblical authors utilize the geographic concept of ascending to describe their journey.
The Great High Priest
After reading the New Testament, we learn about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, where he is placed on trial (Mark 10:33). After being sentenced to death, Jesus ascends to Golgotha, where he is nailed on a cross and hangs there until his death (John 3:14, 8:28, 12:32, 19:17; Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22). Furthermore, Jesus is risen from the dead three days after he died (Luke 24:7). With all of this flamboyant rhetoric, the biblical authors are trying to communicate something. Luke narrates an event in the book of Acts in which Jesus is “lifted up” and “received by a cloud,” which we may read about here.
As an alternative, he is purposely employing geographic and spatial-relationship language of ascending in order to communicate transcendent meaning.
It’s important to remember that both Moses and the high priests made major sacrifices prior to ascending into the presence of the Most High God.
7:27, 10:12), Jesus, the royal priest, was exalted into the heavenly realm.
He was then exalted into the heavenly realm. In the same way as Adam and Eve, Moses, the priests, and even the Israelites ascended to the temple, Jesus ascended to the heavens, uniting the divine and human realms in a magnificent, eternal integration of two worlds.
Jesus the Royal Priest
The resurrected person As a bodily human being (with scars from his crucifixion, as shown in John 20:27), Jesus is also the firstborn of a new creation, having come to life following the resurrection of Lazarus (1 Cor. 15:20-57). If we follow his example, he promises that we shall continue to be physical human beings like him while completely sharing in the divine nature of things (see 2 Peter 1:4). Jesus now resides forever in both God’s and humanity’s realm at the same time, having risen up as he did, and as we shall do in the future.
However, Jesus is able to completely experience it because he has chosen to follow God’s will from the beginning to the finish.
Jesus is the new humanity to which we are welcomed and called to transform ourselves into.
On Earth as in Heaven
Followers of Jesus are now considered to be “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and they have the option of choosing whether or not to ascend with him. However, as we have shown, this very likely does not imply that we will float out into space when we die one day. The alternative is that we join God’s divine task of spreading his word and life here on Earth by incorporating our human lives into it. It is about declaring that “your will, not mine,” be done on Earth (the space occupied by humans) as it is in Heaven (the space occupied by God) (Matt.
- In Jesus, all authority in Heaven and on Earth is delegated, and he has dispatched his apostles to proclaim that his indestructible, wonderful life is available to everyone right now, in the present (Matt.
- This powerful, continuous existence entails learning to know the God of love in the most intimate manner possible—so that our imaginations and passions might be transformed as we are liberated to love God and love our neighbor in the most radical way possible (Mark 12:30-31).
- Believers in Jesus, as members of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) and as temples filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.
- The Bible tells us that as we develop and share our lives with others, continuing to love in ways that combine even more of Heaven and Earth (for example, Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5), we can have confidence that God will raise us up into the new creation, the new Heaven and Earth.
21-22). This is the sixth installment of the “The Royal Priest” blog series, which is linked to the “The Royal Priest” video series.
What is the ascension of Jesus Christ?
Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost are the three most important feasts in the Christian calendar. However, there are certain lesser feasts, the most notable of which being Good Friday and Ascension Day, which are celebrated on the same day. Ascension Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in May. This article will provide the scriptural foundation for the holiday, a brief historical review, and an explanation of how we may be secure in what we are commemorating on Ascension Day.
The Ascension in the Bible
Following His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to the apostles for a period of 40 days, both in Jerusalem and in Galilee. After 40 days, He went with his apostles to a location just outside of Jerusalem, where they slept for the night. “Then He took them out as far as Bethany, and raising up His hands, He blessed them,” we read in Luke 24:50-51. After blessing them, He separated from them and was transported into heaven. After Luke recounts the same occurrence in the book of Acts, he uses different words: “And when He had spoken these things, while they were gazing on, He was lifted up, and a cloud carried Him out of their sight.” Afterwards, they returned to Jerusalem from the peak known as Olivet, which is close to Jerusalem and a Sabbath day’s trip away” (Acts 1:9,12).
Bethany on the slopes of Mount Olivet
When Bethany is stated as the location of the ascension in Luke and Mount Olivet (or Mount of Olives) is referenced in Acts, there is no apparent conflict. Bethany was a tiny community on the slopes of Mount of Olives, about three kilometers east of Jerusalem and about three kilometers north of the Dead Sea. Jesus visited Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary on a regular basis while on his mission (see e.g. John 12:1-3). As a result of Jesus’ preference to dwell in Judea rather than in Jerusalem, it might be regarded his “home” in the region (see e.g.
Ascension between prophesy and return
The Mount of Olives was an eminently suited location for Jesus to take His followers on the night of His ascension. Due to the prophecy of Zechariah, the Lord will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on the Day of the Lord: “On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be divided in two from the east to the west by a very wide valley” (Zechariah 14:4). On the Mount of Olives, Jesus’ ascension to heaven serves as a promise that He will return there as well on the Last Day, when He will judge the people of the world.
Jesus, who was taken from you and ascended into heaven, will return in the same manner in which you witnessed Him ascend into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Ascension Day in the early church
The commemoration of Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of the Father became one of the Christian church’s feast days. In accordance with the biblical narrative, it is always observed 40 days after Easter, which is always on a Thursday. Pentecost is celebrated ten days later, on the second Sunday after Ascension Day. During the fourth century, the renowned church father Augustine stated in his writings that the church had been commemorating Ascension Day from the days of the apostles. It’s debatable if he was accurate in his assessment.
Whatever the case, it is undeniable that Ascension Day has been one of the most important feasts of the church since the time of Augustine.
Ascension Day nowadays
Ascension Day is still observed as a public holiday in much of Western Europe and Scandinavia, as well as in Indonesia, even today. There is a long-standing history of church services on Ascension Day in certain nations, including the Netherlands and Indonesia.
Certainty about Jesus’ Ascension
What evidence do we have that Jesus ascended to the throne of God? As we have seen, it is written in both Luke and Acts. However, this description is not sufficient on its own. God’s Word foreshadows what is to come. “The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand till I make Your adversaries your footstool,” David wrote (Psalm 110:1). Who exactly is this ‘Lord,’ who sits at the right hand of the Almighty God? That question was answered by Jesus. First and foremost, he stated that this scripture is about Christ (the Messiah; see Matthew 22:42-45) His trial was afterwards interrupted by the Jewish leaders, who heard him say: “This is about Me!” You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and ascending on the clouds of sky from this point forward” (Matthew 26:64).
Jesus’ power proven
The truth is, however, that the Jewish authorities never truly saw Jesus in heaven with their own eyes. They, on the other hand, witnessed Jesus’ power in action. They witnessed the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples; they witnessed miracles done in Jesus’ name; they witnessed people prepared to die for their faith in Jesus; and they witnessed the spread of Jesus’ church to every corner of the Roman Empire and beyond. They may draw the conclusion that, indeed, Jesus possesses tremendous authority since He sits at the right hand of God.
Ascension is about Jesus
God’s offer to’sit at my right hand’ was an invitation to Jesus, according to the words of Jesus himself. As a result, it became the most often cited verse from the Old Testament in the New Testament. It’s all about Jesus here! In his speech on the Day of Pentecost, Peter expresses the same sentiment. As the author of Acts 2:34 explains, “David did not ascend to heaven.” As a result, this prophesy is not about him. We witnessed Jesus ascend to the right hand of the Father with our own eyes, therefore it is not about us.
Ascension Day is a reason for celebration
The ascension of Jesus Christ to the right hand of the Father is not a tale that can be taken or left. It is firmly rooted in the teachings of God’s Word. Psalm 110 speaks about the ascent into the presence of the Lord. Jesus informs us that it is all about Him. We can witness the power of Jesus right here on earth. And His followers were present to see the entire incident. It is appropriate to celebrate Ascension Day since we have a Savior in the heavens! That is a great fact that has both hope and comfort in its embrace.
andHow can the fact that Jesus is in heaven benefit me?