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Fantastic! - Jesus' Ascension

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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:

He’s Amazing!

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.

 

Posted by Sondy Eklund with

Youth Group Teacher Feature - Josh Dove

Our newest staff member at Gateway, Josh Dove, has answered some questions for the blog.

 

What is your official position with the youth?

Youth Associate

 

How long have you worked with the youth?

I have volunteered with the youth for 15 months. I began to feel called to work with youth while serving in campus ministry. I was attending Gateway at the time and decided to search for ways to get involved. Opportunities were abundant; the rest is history.

 

Tell us about a time you were blessed by the students.

This one is challenging. Each of the youth has been a blessing in their own unique, and sometimes crazy, way. However, above all, I love their passion and energy. They have a way of celebrating life that constantly pushes me to see the excitement in everything. That has been a huge blessing to me.

 

Tell us about a life you've seen touched.

I have been blown away by the youth here at Gateway time and time again. They have true hearts for God, each other, and unbelievers. It is a privilege to see them continue to deepen their faith, and step up to lead their peers.

One instance in particular stands out to me. As part of a discipleship program some of the youth and I were having conversations about God with random people at the mall. One of the youth was somewhat overwhelmed. Nevertheless, while talking to the first person that nervousness was superseded by faith and she felt completely empowered to talk to others about God. It was so exciting to see such a quick and dramatic change in her, and it has been even more thrilling to see God continue to nurture her heart for evangelism. 

 

Thanks for answering these questions, Josh!  We'll be praying that God uses you to touch many lives.

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