Summary: Part 7 of an Easter series.
The Echoes of Easter Pt 7
"His Coronation in Glory"
Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Introduction: Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days after His resurrection instead of ascending immediately into heaven to demonstrate to His followers that He truly was alive. The disciples knew the Roman authorities had put Jesus to death and that His body had been taken down from the cross and sealed in a tomb. And when that happened, they were filled with despair and fear; many even went into hiding. They had believed Jesus was the promised Messiah -- and now their hopes were shattered. They had forgotten His promise that He would return from the grave, and they felt they had no future. But when Jesus appeared among them after the resurrection, their lives were changed. The greatest miracle in all history had just taken place: Jesus Christ was alive! During those 40 days, He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond doubt to them that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. Over two decades later, the Apostle Paul wrote the following in, 1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Another reason, however, why Jesus stayed on earth then was to teach His disciples, and prepare them for the task of telling the world about Christ. BillyGraham.org
I. The Ascent into Heaven
50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
a. The place of His ascent
Our text indicates that Jesus led His followers to Mt. Olivet which would have allowed Him to see His beloved Bethany and Jerusalem. Olivet was the place where Jesus had delivered His sermon on the mount.
b. The purpose of His ascent
John 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
c. The parting of His ascent
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
The phrase received up means to "carry up" to be borne up," and indicates that Jesus was carried up on a cloud and disappeared into the clouds. The clouds in this case were not ordinary clouds by the shekinah glory of God!
II. The Angelic Heralds
Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? 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.
a. His position in heaven
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
b. His prayers in heaven
Notice that Paul declares that Jesus is positioned at the "right hand" of the Father. He is interceding in two ways. First, for the saints He is our mediator, our advocate. He also pleads for sinners who turn to God in faith and true repentance and when they "call on the name of the Lord" Jesus turns to the Father and says, "Father, forgive them for my sake."