The Ascension of Jesus Christ
Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-12
I’ve been preaching the Gospel for 47 years. The longer I preach the more I understand what Paul meant when he said, ‘‘I preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.’’ Every area and facet of our Lord’s ministry yields abundant riches, but one of the neglected areas of His life is the event known as the ascension--When Jesus left from this earth and was carried into heaven. Unsearchable riches, indeed. Here is an untapped mine of treasure. Here is an unfathomed ocean of blessing. Here is an unexplored galaxy of glory.
There are several crucial events in the life of our Lord-five of them. There is the incarnation. There is the crucifixion. There is the resurrection. There is ascension. There is the exaltation.
The ascension of our Lord takes its place alongside all of the others and it is inseparably linked to the other four. In one of the first Gospel songs ever written, Paul sings, ‘‘Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.’’ God was manifest in the flesh. Justified in the spirit. Seen of angels. Preached unto the Gentiles. Believed on in the world. Received up into glory.
The old writers used to put it this way. The ascension marks the culmination of His earthly ministry and the initiation of His heavenly session. Jesus often predicted that He would be ascended back to heaven. As our Lord traveled through this world with a cross in his heart, He was homesick for heaven. As He moved along, having exegeted God to men, He longed again to be in the bosom of His Father. Jesus said in John 6:62,
‘‘What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?’’
Then in John 17 He said, ‘‘Now, o Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’’
Twice in that chapter He says, ‘‘I come to thee.’’ Jesus not only predicted His ascension, but He dramatized His ascension. At the beginning of His ministry He was baptized by John. He ...
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