“After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God,” (Acts 1:3).
Easter is a season of forty days commemorating the time that Jesus spent with his disciples after rising from the dead. Which begs the question, “Well, what happened after forty days?”
“…When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight,” (Acts 1:9).
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,” (Luke 24:50-52).
Jesus was bodily born, bodily suffered, bodily died, bodily rose, and bodily…ascended?!
This Sunday at church we’ll be celebrating the Feast of the Ascension. In the meantime, here is a thread of things that we can say with certainty because of the Ascension of Jesus.
- Because of the Ascension the first Christians and Christians ever since have experienced the faith not just as a hope for the future but as a force in the present.
- Because of the Ascension Jesus has not “gone away” but rather has drawn even nearer now than before.
- Because of the Ascension the question is not “Where has Jesus gone?” but rather “Where can I flee from your presence?” (Ben Myers)
- Because of the Ascension the faith of the Church is not about spiritual escape but rather material transfiguration.
- Because of the Ascension our human nature has been united to God forever and we also (through and in and with Jesus) ascend into the presence of the Father.
- Because of the Ascension the Crucified One is enthroned over every moment/dimension of spacetime.
- Because of the Ascension the Crucified One is as present to us now as he was to the Apostles then. Even more-so.
- Because of the Ascension we are now forever located “in Christ.”