Jesus Ascends Into Heaven

Dr. Kermit Long says, “With all our education, our fine buildings, our image of the church, we are doing less to win people to Christ than our unschooled forefathers did. We’re no longer fishers of men, but keepers of the aquarium, and we spend most of our time swiping … More

Ascension

The ascension of Christ occurred near Bethany on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. As the disciples stood and watched, Jesus began rising into the air, and soon disappeared into heaven (v. 50). Seeing Jesus leave must have been frightening but the disciples knew that Jesus would keep His promises to be with them. Jesus physical body left the disciples when He returned to heaven (v. 51), but the Holy Spirit soon came to comfort them and empower them to spread the gospel of salvation (Acts 2:1-4). Today Jesus work of salvation is completed, and He is sitting at God’s right hand, where He has authority over heaven and earth. “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). This means that Christ’s return will also be bodily.

The same Jesus who lived with the disciples, who died and was buried and who rose from the dead, loves us and promises to be with us always. We can get to know him better through studying the Scriptures, praying, and allowing the Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus.

Luke’s Gospel portrays Jesus as the perfect example of a life lived according to God’s plan (vv. 52-53). As a child He was living in obedience to his parents and yet amazing the religious leaders in the temple. As an adult He was found serving God and others through preaching and healing, and finally as a condemned man suffering without complaint. With great joy they returned to the temple in Jerusalem, where they continued praising and blessing God (v. 53). The Gospel of Luke begins by announcing “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Lk 2:10), and it ends with the disciples who are filled “with great joy in the temple praising God.”

Application

Many Christians today have the privilege of hearing the Word of God taught week after week, but never accept the responsibility of sharing it with others. I need to remember that there is a day coming when I will have to give an answer for what I have done with what I have been taught (II Corinthians 5:10).

Luke 24:50-53 (English Standard Version)


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