Psalm 110v1 is the most quoted verse in the New Testament: “The LORD [Yahweh] said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ ” In Acts 2, Peter uses it in his argument to exclaim,“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (You can also see quotes in: Matthew 22v44, Mark 12v36, Luke 20v42-43, Hebrews 1v13; and partial quotes in Matthew 26v64, Mark 14v62, 16v19, Luke 22v69, 1 Corinthians 15v25, Ephesians 1v20-22, Colossians 3v1, Hebrews 1v3,8v1,10v12-13, 12v12.)
The early apostles were fully convinced of all of Christ’s death, his resurrection and his ascension into heaven. They understood each of them to be foretold in the Old Testament and they had seen each of them fulfilled before their own eyes. While the time from death to resurrection spans a period of 6 weeks (2 days from death to resurrection and 40 days from resurrection to ascension), they are frequently considered one event. This makes sense from a relative time perspective compared to all history, but also theologically the death, resurrection and ascension are all key elements of the gospel message. Why is the ascension so significant?
– The ascension, with the resurrection, is the evidence of God’s total satisfaction with Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus took our sin, but is now in the presence of God.
– The ascension gives an incomprehensible insight into the oneness of the physical and the spiritual as the physical Jesus ascends into the presence of the Father who is Spirit.
– The ascension gives us encouragement in life as we have a representative before God who speaks on our behalf and understand the struggles of life.
– The ascension gives reason for hope in the return of Christ in “the same way he was seen to go”.
As we remember Jesus ascension, may we be assured of the Father’s acceptance of us in his presence, begin to grasp the significance of both body and spirit, trust in Christ as our advocate, and eagerly await the return of Jesus to this earth!
With much blessing,