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Faithlife

Who is Jesus: His Ascension

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It signaled the end of His earthly ministry

God the Father had lovingly sent His Son into the world at Bethlehem, and now the Son was returning to the Father

The period of human limitation was at an end.

It signified success in His earthly work

All that He had come to do, He had accomplished.

It marked the return of His heavenly glory

Jesus' glory had been veiled during His life on earth, with one brief exception at the Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1–9 NKJV
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

This illustration concerns an incident one day when C.S. Lewis was in the tool shed in his garden. He noticed a sunbeam shining across the shed. It was showing up the dust particles. He must have seen the same thing many times before, but this time he was captivated by it.
He traced the beam of light to the crack at the top of the closed door of the shed. But what struck him was that although it appeared to be coming from the crack, it was really coming from a blazing star 90 million miles away! Squinting up the beam carefully so as not to burn his eyes, he followed the beam through the crack in the door, through the leaves of a tree outside and beyond to its magnificent source. Lewis thought to himself how different it was looking along the beam to its source than it was looking at the beam in his tool shed.
As we join Lewis in his tool shed, in our mind’s eye, we cannot help but notice that the thin beam is so small and weak by comparison with that great burning nuclear fire that is the sun. Just looking at the beam alone tells us so little about its great source. You have to look along the beam to see that. The little beam is beautiful certainly, but it source is magnificent and awe-inspiring.
(Source: from a sermon by Will Langford, "How to Better Understand the Bible, Part 1" 7/16/08)

It provides the Holy Spirit to Believers

According to , Jesus ascend to heaven in order to send the Holy Spirit

The verb is a futuristic present (literally “I am sending”) that emphasizes the certainty of what God was about to do.

refers to the OT promise of the Spirit’s coming (cf. also ). Luke thought above all of Joel

to the OT promise of the Spirit’s coming (cf. also ). Luke thought above all of

Joel 2:28–32 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
Joel
There is a story about a vaccum salesman down in Tennesee. He was out in rural Tennesee. He had a his vacum cleaner and all of this tools and everything, and he went out there and he told a lady, "I’ve got the most exciting vacum cleaner you have ever seen. It will clean your house from top to bottom...you only have to pay so much down." And the lady said, "It sounds real good." He said, "You see that big pile of dirt right there on the floor with all those fur balls and bugs and things." He said, "My vacum cleaner will just pick up all those things up just like that and if they don’t, I’ll eat it." She said, "well you might as well get your knife and fork, because we do not have any electricity out here!"
You will be sucking up dirt the rest of your life if you do not have the power.

It symbolized His exaltation by the Father

Ephesians 1:20–23 NKJV
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians

The One with whom the Father is well pleased

Matthew 17:5 NKJV
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

He was received up in honor and given a name above all names

Philippians
Philippians 2:9 NKJV
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

It allowed Him to prepare a place for us

John 14:2 NKJV
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

It indicated the beginning of His new work

High Priest

Hebrews 4:14–16 NKJV
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:15–16 NKJV
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Mediator of the New Covenant

Hebrews 9:15 NKJV
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
1 John 2:1 NKJV
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

It began Jesus’ Eternal Reign Over all Enemies

1 Peter 3:22 NKJV
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
1 Peter 3:22 NKJV
who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
1 Peter 3:2 NKJV
when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

It set the pattern for His return

When Jesus comes to set up the Kingdom, He will return just as He left

Literally

Bodily

Visibly in the clouds

Acts 1:11 NKJV
who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Daniel 7:13–14 NKJV
“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
Matthew 24:30 NKJV
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Revelation 1:7 NKJV
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Currently, the Lord Jesus is in heaven. The Scriptures frequently picture Him at the right hand of the Father-a position of honor and authority (; ; ). Christ is the Head of the Church (), the giver of spiritual gifts (), and the One who fills all in all ().
Notice the reaction of the disciples. They were excited, joyful and worshipful. We too are filled with worship, great joy (v. 52) and are transformed into victorious proclaimers of the gospel.
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