“No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” John 3: 13
The Ascension of Jesus
“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. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1: 9 – 11
The ascension of Jesus is Christian teaching that Christ physically departed from the earth by being caught up into Heaven, in the presence of his faithful followers. According to the New Testament narrative, the ascension occurred forty days after the resurrection. The Bible tells us that God exalted Jesus, raising him from the dead and taking him to Heaven, where Jesus took his seat at the right hand of God, the Father.
While many may die for a belief, the early Christians were martyrs who died for what they claimed they saw. They had no reason to lie. Saying Jesus had not risen would have given them a chance for a relatively peaceful, prosperous life. Insisting that He was raised brought them multiple scourgings, imprisonments, and horrific deaths but they stuck to their story.
The Success Story
The ascension also marked the time when Jesus once again enjoyed His heavenly glory. During His time on earth, he had limited expressions of the heavenly glory and power that He enjoyed prior to His earthly birth. His ascension began a new period during which He would once again reign without limits.
The ascension marked the success of Jesus’s earthly mission. Jesus completed all the Father had planned for Him to accomplish while on earth. When you consider His birth, miracles, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension they all prove His divine nature and they fulfill the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah.
The ascension is the beginning of the time when Jesus is preparing a place for His followers. It indicates the beginning of His work as High Priest and Mediator of the New Covenant as recorded in the book of Hebrews chapters 4 and 9.
John 14: 2 – 3: teaches, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Pentecost: The Birth Of The Church
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1: 1 – 26
Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter and 10 days after Ascension. Some Christian denominations consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such.
“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters”. Genesis 1:2
Pentecost literally means “50”. Originally, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday held 50 days after Passover. It celebrates the day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, causing them to speak in tongues, that is a language other than what they are accustomed to. The same spirit that was with God at the time of creation is now given to man on earth.
The Promised Return of Jesus
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord” 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 – 17
The resurrection is the God’s clear signal that Jesus is the powerful Son who has conquered death and reigns as Lord of all (Romans 1:4; 4:25). It also demonstrates that Jesus’ “blood of the new covenant” saves us from our sins. It points to the fact that he will come for his followers in like manner as he promised.
“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near” Luke 21: 27 – 31.
Be Prepared To Meet Him
In affirming that the faithful will be “raised” (1 Corinthians 15: 42–44, 52), Paul concludes that our present perishable bodies will be endowed, through the power of Jesus’s resurrection, with imperishable life.
Jesus lived on earth, was crucified, raised on the third day, and was seen by many. The Jewish authorities tried to cover up this fact with money. The Roman government tried to silence it with violence and persecution of the early Christians. Modern skeptics continues to try to argue it away.
But there is no theory that can explain the eye-witness accounts except that Jesus really was resurrected and ascended. Because of that, you can have hope that you, too, will rise one day and meet Him, as he promised. Are you prepared to meet Him?
He died for you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3: 16
Just believe in Him and His written word. “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2: 38
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