Summary: This message covers four reasons why the Ascension of Jesus into heaven was necessary.
¥ This past week the liturgical world celebrated the ascension of Jesus into heaven.
¥ Paint the Picture…
¥ Context: The ascension is the last, individual, earthly event of the Ministry of Jesus. It is the completion of the resurrection. He was raised, not only to renewed physical life, but to resume His Heavenly life as well.
¥ This event, recorded twice by Luke, occurred 40 days after the resurrection and ten days before the Day of Pentecost. It happened on the Mount of Olives, just a short distance east of Jerusalem
¥ If we believe in the resurrection of Jesus, this belief leads naturally to belief in the ascension.
¥ Like many events in Jesus’ life, this one is full of mystery and wonder. Yet, some lessons are very clear. Some blessings come to us that could come no other way.
¥ Let us consider what the ascension of Jesus to Heaven means to us:
I. The Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20
A. Some doubted but they worked through it…
1. The disciples world was turned upside down when Jesus died.
2. Imagine the mixture of emotions upon the announcement of His Resurrection. (Joy, unbelief, questions etc.)
B. He said he would be with us always, “even to the end of the world” (V.20).
1. There’s a song we used to sing called, “He’s never failed me yet…”
2. Another song, “Jesus Never Fails”.
Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
II. The Power to Perform - John. 16:7
A. His promise was fulfilled ten days later. Acts 2:33
1. The Church received the power to Preach Christ, Work Miracles, Demonstrate Jesus and Declare the Word of the Lord.
2. In Acts 2:38, Holy Spirit is the gift, not the giver… JESUS IS THE GIVER!
B. The work of Holy Spirit.
1. Exalts Jesus Christ. John 16:14
2. Helps us Pray. Romans 8:26, 27
3. Strengthens Us. Ephesians 3:16
4. Seals us. Ephesians 1:13, 14
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
III. The Exaltation of Jesus as our Intercessor - Philippians 2:8-11
A. Jesus not only intercedes for us but for the whole world! 1 John 2:1- 2
1. He’s praying for the saint and the sinner alike. (The agnostic, the atheist, the broken and torn… the deceived and misguided - HE LOVES US ALL!)
B. JESUS IS YOUR “PRAYER PARTNER” IN HEAVEN!
1. Jesus carries our defense before the Father…
Romans 8:33-34 - AMP
33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]
34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
IV. The Return! - Acts 1:6-11
A. The Ascension of Jesus was a jaw dropping event!
1. The Disciples gazed on in amazement!
2. The announcement from the angel was that “THIS SAME JESUS” would come again the same way he ascended… in the clouds of heaven!
¥ Signs of the times are everywhere…
¥ Those “in the prophetic flow” can sense a changing in the atmosphere!
B. If I go away I will come again… - John 14:3
C. He promised power to witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Uttermost parts of the earth. - Acts 1:8
1. GOD IS INTO WORLD EVANGELIZATION!
2. If world evangelization is close to the heart of God don’t you think we should be involved in it?
Conclusion: - John 14:1-3
¥ He MUST go so He can come again!
¥ Are we ready?
¥ Are we involved in the work of World Evangelization through Missions, Media & Intercessory Prayer?
When He returns will He find us ready and busy for Him?