Over the past few weekend blog’s I have tried (albeit badly!) to reflect on the impact of the Resurrection of Jesus on His followers, both past and present. The events of Easter Sunday represented the greatest comeback in history. However, in the Scripture verses below what followed on Ascension Day can be described as the return home of the hero!!
The Ascension of Jesus is a hugely significant event within the pages of the New Testament. Sadly, in many Churches it is an event that is overlooked. Did you know that next Thursday (May 21st) is Ascension Day in the UK? It’s remembering the returning home of Jesus after He had completed His work on earth which had been determined by His Father. It’s ‘His Coronation’ – a celebration of victory!
Luke 24:50-53 – The Ascension of Jesus.
The Ascension of Jesus has huge implications for us today and there are 3 major benefits which we can also enjoy.
We have ACCESS to the Father – Something dramatically changed as a result of Easter Sunday that was completed when Jesus ascended to heaven. We see this in the words said to Mary Magdalene on that first Easter Sunday morning: ‘Go…to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’… John 20:17. When we begin to know God as our Father, then everything changes. The Book of Hebrews reminds us that we have access to God – we can come in confidence to the One who is acting/interceding on our behalf: Hebrews 7:25 and 10:19 & 22.
We have a new IDENTITY in the Son. Because of what Jesus accomplished at the Cross, we can be New People – Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that when we give our lives over to God and accept His forgiveness we are ‘new people/new creations’ and as a new person we have a new identity and this identity should dramatically affect the way we live our lives.
We have a new INDWELLING of the Spirit. Jesus had told His followers that He would be longer with them in person, but He promised them in John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit would come. Ascension Day paved the way for the coming of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. In other words: No Ascension = No Pentecost! The same Holy Spirit resides in the lives of all who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus. Therefore, we are never alone and through the Holy Spirit, we can have Jesus with us always – no matter where we are. Because of the Ascension, Christ is eternally present in us. I find that really comforting!
Lord Jesus, I thank you for the wonderful promise of the Holy Spirit. May your Spirit help me to grow in an ever-deepening relationship with You. May your Spirit empower me to go and make a difference in the world around me so that your name may be honoured and glorified. Amen.