Hi everyone, Rob here. On Thursday of this week we celebrate Ascension Day, the day when Christ was taken up to heaven, 40 days after his resurrection. Acts 1:9 describes it like this: “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” That’s it. He just disappeared and left the disciples staring into space. It strikes me that Jesus was eager to leave because he was so eager for the Holy Spirit to come. His last words to the disciples were this: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:7-8).”
Daniel 7:13-14 has a much fuller account of Jesus’ ascension: “In my vision at night I looked and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. he approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” John Eldredge is right on the money when he calls this “The coronation of Jesus” in his book Beautiful Outlaw (108). In fact, the whole book of Acts is based on the premise that Jesus is now the True King over all the earth. That’s what the disciples are to witness to and what the Holy Spirit will give them power for. Just as messengers went out and proclaimed to the empire when a new emperor was crowned, the disciples of Jesus are to go out and proclaim to the world that their True King has been crowned and we are all invited to come and pledge our allegiance to him.
So, how will you celebrate Ascension Day? It would be good for our hearts to do so. I have neglected this day in the past but I don’t want to anymore. Christ has taken his rightful place at the right hand of the Father and reigns now as my King and yours. One day he will return and reveal the fullness of his Kingdom. Eldredge writes, “For now the glorious kingdom will come, the eternal summer romp of men and angels. His crowning ensures the triumph of a kingdom of laughter and beauty and life, forever (Outlaw, 108).” But it’s just about the future, as glorious as that will be. It’s about Jesus having the authority in and through our lives right now. Today. This moment. Even as you finish reading this I invite you to bow the knee and give Jesus your whole life: your heart, mind, body and will. Your home, your work, your friendships, your responsibilities, your hobbies and your leisure time. Give it all to the True King who is also your best friend, your older brother and your life. He lives! He reigns! He will return in glory!
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let those who hear say, ‘Come!’ Let those who are thirsty come; and let all who wish take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17).”