Summary: The ascension of Jesus matters because it opened some doors for us previously not opened.
• EASTER WORSHIP INTRO VIDEO
• SLIDE #1
• I want to welcome you to FCC today, we are so glad all of you decided to join us as we worship our Lord together today!
• Jerry and I have been taking you on a journey through a series we entitled, “It Matters.”
• The point of the series has been to help us to see the events in the life of Jesus, from His birth, to His ascension into heaven actually matter.
• As a matter of fact, what we have been studying matters so much that God revealed the details we have been studying 100’s of years BEFORE they happened through the prophets of the Old Testament.
• The details of the life of Jesus and the details of our faith do matter, and they matter in a BIG way!
• If we do not know why we believe what we believe, our faith will not stand the test of the trials of life, and we will not be able to help lead others to salvation in Jesus.
• Today, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord; however, we are not going to do a typical resurrection Sunday message, instead we are going to examine an event that took place forty days after the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:3).
• This event is the ascension of Jesus; this important event would not have been possible had Jesus rotted in the tomb after His death.
• Today we are going to examine four issues surrounding the ascension of Jesus that will show us that the ascension matters.
• Now in this series Jerry and I have been taking you to the Old Testament so you can see the prophecy, and then we move you to the New Testament so you can see the fulfillment of what God shared in the Old Testament.
• SLIDE #2
• Daniel 7:13–14 (HCSB) — 13 I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. 14 He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.
• SLIDE #3
• Acts 1:9–11 (HCSB) — 9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”
• SLIDE #4
The ascension of Jesus mattered enough that…
I. The ascension was prophesied in the Old Testament by God.
• As a reminder, in order to be able to appreciate what Daniel was led to write, Daniel wrote the Book of Daniel somewhere between 600 and his death on 536 BC.
• That would have been over five to six hundred years BEFORE Jesus was born in 6 BC and before His death and resurrection in 30 AD.
• Do you remember when the National Enquirer used to trot out the annual Jeane Dixon Psychic predictions for the year. A blind squirrel finds a nut once and a while, well, Daniel was writing over 500 years before Jesus began His earthly ministry.
• Daniel has accurately prophesied about the rise and fall of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greece, and Roman empires. He also spoke of the rise of the Church, which was not even a thought in 553 BD when Daniel had his visions in Daniel 7.
• The ascension mattered so much that God made sure the Prophet Daniel wrote about it in Daniel 7:13-ff!
• “The goal of all history is presented. This is the victory of the kingdom of the Christ over all other kingdoms that aspire to universal rule.” Leupold, H. C. (1949). Exposition of Daniel (p. 308). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
• The language of Daniel makes it clear that he has seen a vision of the ascension of the Lord!
• “There are many passages in which clouds regularly accompany Him who is the heavenly King. They are His carpet, His mark of identification. The clouds which are seen in the heavens so regularly are reminders of Him who comes from heaven.” Leupold, H. C. (1949). Exposition of Daniel (p. 308). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.