Monday, February 28, 2011

Up, Up and Away

Acts 1:9-11 is easy to skim over. After all the verses before deal with Jesus' commission to His disciples and the verses after deal with selecting Judas' replacement. But, the ascension of Jesus is not something we should just fly by. The Ascension is important. Without it we would miss out on a number of benefits and blessings in the Christian life.

If Jesus did not ascend we would not have an advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1). Our lives, which are hidden with Him, would be earthly not heavenly (Colossians 3:1-4). Most importantly, because Jesus went to be with the Father, we get the Holy Spirit, indwelling and empowering us (John 16:7). We can also have the confidence that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matthew 28:18) On top of that, we have the assurance from Acts 1:11 that Jesus will return bodily for us! Those are some incredible benefits and are well worth praising God for.

Here is how the Heidelberg Catechism puts it:

Question: How does Christ's ascension to Heaven benefit us?

Answer: First, He pleads our cause in heaven in the presence of His Father. Second, we have our own flesh in heaven - a guarantee that Christ our head will take us, His members, to Himself in heaven. Third, He sends His Spirit to us on earth as a further guarantee. By the Spirit's power we make the goal of our lives, not earthly things, but the things above where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Mike

For Further Study: Kevin DeYoung,
The Good News We Almost Forgot (Chapter 18)

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