Sunday Pastor Ed preached a final message in his series titled Fantastic! – Incredible Stories from Jesus’ Life, and Their Significance for Us.
We should be amazed at Jesus for two reasons:
Our hearts were designed for worship. We operate at our best when we’re amazed at Jesus.
Today we looked at Jesus’ Ascension, based on the account in Acts 1:1-12.
The Nature of the Ascension: What happened?
I Timothy 3:16 and I Peter 3:22 allude to the ascension, but they don’t give a description.
What does it mean, he was “taken up before their very eyes”?
At the very least, Jesus disappeared in a cloud.
A cloud is a very familiar image in the Bible – God led the Israelites in a cloud; a cloud filled the tabernacle and the temple; at the transfiguration, they were enveloped by a cloud.
The cloud was the presence of God.
This isn’t a spatial happening; it’s more than that.
To ascend to a throne is to assume the rulership. Ascending to the throne changes the relationship with everyone in the kingdom.
Jesus was taken into “heaven.” He’s now in a different kind of relationship with everyone in the universe.
The Meaning of the Ascension
1) The ascension means Jesus goes global.
Acts is about more that Jesus did through the church.
He can literally say he’ll be with you.
Luke says that his gospel tells what Jesus began to do and teach.
2) The ascension means Jesus is glorified.
Now as a Priest, he has constant access with the Father, interceding for us.
Now as a King, all things have been placed under his feet; he has all authority and power.
Now as a Prophet, his ministry has expanded. He can now speak to us directly and constantly through the Holy Spirit.
3) The ascension means the release of the Holy Spirit.
He said he’d be with us in a different way through his Spirit.
The key to understanding God is Jesus. He is one being with God. The Ascension was the confirming exclamation point on that truth.
God took up permanent residence in us.
As we think about the ascension, let’s remember that we were designed for wonder. And we operate at our best when we direct our amazement in the right way.