And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Act 1:4-8
Tomorrow is Ascension Day! How are you celebrating the final step of the Lord’s mission on earth and ascending to heaven to rule and reign? Since it is a busy time on our earthly calendars, our lay people can easily miss the day and its significance. Many celebrate on “Ascension Sunday” this Sunday!
It is a good and important day to remember and its significance is clearly vital to our Christian understanding and life. Some circuits have a joint vesper service on this day and many of our Lutheran schools move their chapel day to Thursday to highlight for the children the importance of the day.
Though often overlooked, the Ascension completes Jesus’s earthly mission and signifies his enthronement as heavenly king. Jesus has completed his Father’s mission and he now rules with all authority and intercedes with all sympathy as our mediator and high priest. I close with four implications of Jesus’s ascension for our lives.
- Remember that Jesus is presently reigning as king and remains active and engaged in our world and our lives.
- Therefore live boldly, confidently, and strategically as servants of the exalted king of heaven. Know that your labors in the Lord Jesus are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
- Sufferers, take heart that Jesus is not indifferent to your struggle. He has endured great suffering and is thus the most merciful and sympathetic counselor and mediator. Take your cares to your ascended Lord who hears your prayers and can respond with all heaven’s authority.
- Finally hope in a glorious future. The ascended Lord will return as judge and king. He will abolish injustice, end suffering, and destroy death and set up his kingdom of truth, righteousness and love. Best of all, we will be with our king forever.
This is a day to celebrate and an important time for rejoicing in the resurrection! We are now 40 days from Easter, but we are never past Easter and the joy we share in our Risen and ascended Lord Jesus!
Blessed Ascension Day!