December 1 – The Ascension

Read: Acts 1:6-11

While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. (Luke 24:51 ESV)

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9 ESV)

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19 ESV)

After years of traveling together, teaching, healing, preaching, and working. Jesus was gone. He left. Even death had not kept him from them, his disciples. Impossibly, he had returned to spend another month with them. But as the month drew to an end he encouraged and blessed them one more time, and was then taken away into the heavens. He ascended.

A lot of belief systems talk about an ascension. They talk about the possibility of you or I making our mark on this life in such a way as to gain unfathomable understanding. That through doing so we would ascend. Ascension in these religions is about the power of a person to overcome their limitations. It is a self-serving action devoid of a larger interpersonal purpose.

Jesus ascension was real. He was there, and then he was pulled away into Heaven. People saw it, they talked about it, they believed it, they wrote about it. It happened. It was a true historical event that actually took place.

Jesus didn’t ascend under his power, but by the power of the God the Father. He was called away to again be in the presence of God. He went ahead to prepare an eternal home for his followers. And I believe that one day, just as he ascended, he will descend again to gather his people to himself. Jesus ascended not for personal gain, but for providential purpose. Just as he gave himself in life, and in death, he even now he gives of himself in eternity.

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