Summary: The Ascension of Jesus - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com
(1). Jesus continues to work after the ascension.
(2). The ascended Lord Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to his people.
(3). Jesus’s ascension is his heavenly enthronement as King.
(4). Jesus’s ascension is his return to his Father.
(5). The ascended Lord Jesus is our heavenly Advocate and high priest.
(6). The ascended Lord Jesus will return as King and Judge.
Quote: Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381.
• “He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
• Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
• Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
• Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
• Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
• Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
• Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
• Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.”
• TRANSITION: In every way Jesus Christ is unique;
• He is indescribable, he is indefinable,
• He is as one translation of the Bible says (2 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 15);
• “The gift too wonderful for words”.
• We reminded ourselves of that fact in our last study;
• And that is seen again in tonight’s topic ‘The Ascension’.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is unique, unparalleled, matchless:
• i.e. Jesus came into this world and went out of it in a different way from everybody else.
• i.e. Both his arrival and his departure were quite unique.
• i.e. He had no human father, either within or outside a marriage bond.
• His mother was a virgin throughout the conception, pregnancy and delivery.
• i.e. Even more astonishing,
• Jesus claimed to have chosen to be born!
• i.e. His repeated statements about his life's purpose always began with: 'I came'.
• i.e. Furthermore, he said he had come down from heaven to earth.
• Now this descent is usually referred to as his 'incarnation' (literally: 'in-flesh-ing').
• Now this was not just a move from heaven to earth;
• It was also a change of existence from the divine to the human;
• Or rather, from being God to becoming a God-man.
• The Son of God was now the Son of man.
• For the first time he had a physical body.
• He was a human being, just like us.
Then thirty-three years later he returned to where he'd come from.
• He went back up from earth to heaven.
• Christians call this his 'ascension'.
• As far as I know there is not a corresponding, a contrasting word to 'incarnation'
• Like 'excarnation', for example, literally: 'out-flesh-ing'),
• And we do not have that word for a very important, a vital reason:
• When Jesus went back to heaven he did not cease to be a man!
• The old timers used to use the expression: “There is a man in the glory”
• He did not leave his humanity behind,
• Just as he had not left his divinity behind when he came.
• His departure was also unparalleled.
• Others leave this world on the day they die;
• he stayed around for two more months.
• Others leave this world because they are dead;
• He left very much alive.
• Others leave their bodies behind;
• He took his with him.
• When it comes to Christian doctrine;
• According to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 3-4:
• The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus take centre stage;
• We are told they are of 'first importance'.
• Maybe because the cross and empty tomb;
• Have always been at the very heart of the gospel message we proclaim,
• Maybe for many evangelical Christians and churches,
• The ascension of Jesus is simply an afterthought to Easter and Good Friday.
As you read the New Testament:
• The ascension seems to parallel the incarnation;
• In the sense that we do not have too much information or emphasis on it;
• But it happened and it was essential that it happened.
• Take the four Gospels.
• Matthew does not mention the ascension at all,
• Mark's Gospel, contains the single phrase:
• 'He was taken up into heaven' (Mark chapter 16 verse 19).
• Luke's Gospel and his book of Acts give the most detail,
• But only a few verses in both records.
• John’s gospel, doesn't mention the ascension itself,
• But records Jesus' own prediction of it after the resurrection:
• 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'