A vision of the Ascension

Today we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus to heaven. We do not give it credence in the way we should. It should be a greater feast than Christmas and Easter. We will examine why here. Today could not go without bringing this message. The fact is we do our Lord great disservice without looking at this happening in the Word.

Transitioning from the Earthly to the Heavenly

The earthly ministry of Jesus culminates with 40 days of teaching the disciples all about Kingdom. He was preparing them for a glorious phase to come. When I cast my mind over the Upper Room, I imagine when the disciples were there after Jesus had died on Calvary’s cross, their darkness and despair had made the Upper Room dark. They remember with a misty recollection that last Seder Supper when the emotions of Jesus were visible, Jesus was struggling with what He knew was coming. Many things of that night become a blur in context of so much grief. Yet the Apostle John so beautifully recounts the teachings that Jesus gave in preparation . He was going away but the Counsellor was coming. They knew nothing of the pain that was before them. They would descend a “emotional Hades” when Jesus died. All would die with Him as their expectations became ambitions.

And so as a breaking of morning sunlight the news that Jesus was no longer in the tomb and the appearance that evening, to the joy of all concerned. Then for 40 days He taught them, and prepared them. Thus was the transition.

That heavenly reception

Daniel 7 tells us what happened when Jesus is received to heaven. It tells us that He is presented before the Ancient of Days and is given a Kingdom and Dominion, and a Name. Philippians 2 also from Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus was exalted by the Father and tells us what that means. That heavenly reception is one of Glory and celebration. From David’s point of view in Psalm 110:1 we see that Jesus is invited to the Right Hand of the Father to make His enemies His footstool. So Scripture is unified what happened on that day, and for the 10 days that stood between Ascension and Pentecost.

It is a moment which the lamb is becoming the Lion. Revelation 5 tells us of the closed book, with its seven seals, and yet the “Lamb is FOUND worthy” to open the seals. The seals of the end of all things is at hand, and Jesus in His heavenly ministry as High Priest as Hebrews shows us, is at hand, as each seal is opened so a chapter toward the end unfolds. The Ascension starts this process, and the Church must celebrate it better. Without the Ascension there would not be any Outpouring of the Spirit. It is crucial that Jesus is glorified.

The Outpouring of the Spirit a confirming sign of Jesus’ Glorification

No two Scriptures put this in perspective better than Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. They are two Scriptures which the Holy Spirit embeds in the preaching of Peter. It is the Psalm 2 that unlocks a greater infilling of the Spirit on the Church in Acts 4, as they ask not for protection from persecution but a confirmation that God had indeed placed Jesus on His Holy Hill. I have a feeling that this is the unlocking of every revival as Jesus is asked for in confirming glory, that we invoke a confirmation of His Glorification as King and High Priest of all the Earth. This is God’s plan for the universe, to Glorify His Son. And we asking must bring the same kind of confirming manifestations. May we be bold to ask for them as we grow in our understanding of the Ascension and what it means.

The End times are no more than increasing manifestations of Jesus the King

Whilst we may concentrate on collapses and crises, these in themselves are confirming signs of the manifestation of Jesus in His Kingship form. He is no longer the Jesus of the Gospels as most seem to preach most of the time. He is ascended and glorified. And in this understanding we must see the end times as a process to the fulness of this in our eyes and in our world. We must look up as our redemption is nigh.

And that my friends is the importance of celebrating Ascension Day in the best way because it is the starting point where all begins to be edified, and the Gates of Hades shall not prevail for He has overcome death and hades itself.

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus quickly.

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