The Ascension of Jesus Our Christ
The Gospel of Luke describes the transference of the resurrected body of Jesus from the earth to heaven in Acts 1:9-11.
“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
The location of the ascension was east of Jerusalem near Bethany. Forty days after His physical resurrection Jesus “was taken up” and disappeared into a cloud.
God raised Christ from the dead “and made Him sit at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20). He sits “at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3).
The ascension made it possible for Christ to enter into His heavenly “glorification” and sit at the right hand of the Father until His enemies are made His footstool (Ps. 110:1).
The evidence for the glorification of Christ and His superiority over the Old Testament saints is His ascension (Acts 2:33-36). When He arrived into heaven He received “the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus is superior to angels, authorities, principalities, powers and dominions because He is the ascended Lord (Heb. 1:13; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 3:22).
The important message for every believer is that even though Jesus is absent physically from the earth, He is still spiritually present with His church. He can be anywhere and everywhere with His followers all the time.
Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus died, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven (Jn. 16:7). “If I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”
Without the ascension Jesus would be in one location on the earth, but not spiritually present everywhere. Because Jesus ascended to heaven He is “wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in your midst” (Matt. 18:20). At His ascension He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Because Jesus is in heaven He is everywhere all the time through His Spirit.
The ascension proves that Jesus really did rise from the dead. Where is the body of Jesus? He is at the right side of His Father seated in power and authority (Eph. 1:20; Heb. 1:30). He is alive.
The ascension gives us a steadfast assurance that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was accepted by God the Father as the perfect atonement for sinners. Jesus is in the presence of the Father and no other sacrifice for sin ever needs to be made again (Heb. 4:14; 6:20; 9:24). Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice for sin never has to be repeated (Heb. 1:3; 9:12; 10:12; 12:2). He sits on the throne. His atoning work is finished.
The ascension of Jesus gives us assurance that everything is now complete and one day we, too, will reign with Him in His kingdom. Jesus returned to heaven “to prepare a place for you” (Jn. 14:2). The ascension guarantees the promise, “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (v. 3). One day every believer in Christ will ascend to be with Him (2 Cor. 5:1-10; 2 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-58).
The ascension of Jesus makes it possible for us to go boldly into the presence of God in prayer (Heb. 4:14-16). We have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2) who has experienced everything we experience in this life. He understands and is always ready to help in our time of need (Heb. 2:17; 5:7-10).