A Certain and Perfect Picture
by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
This past Thursday, May 9th this year, marks forty days since Easter Sunday, the day Jesus ascended back to heaven.Much is made of the birth of Jesus. We certainly remember Palm Sunday and the events of Holy Week culminating in the glorious celebration of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. But too often the events of the Ascension and to a lesser degree, Pentecost, are largely forgotten. Both are hugely significant to our Christian faith.
In the Ascension, Jesus bodily ascended (rose) to heaven, thereby assuring all of us among other things, a bodily, physical resurrection! Jesus’ glorified body had properties different than ours as he moved back and forth between different dimensions during the previous forty days. Had he not ascended to heaven, he could not return nor would he be interceding to the Father on our behalf. During this forty day period, he appeared to many people at different times, once even appearing to 500 people at one time.
In a secular age of doubt and speculation regarding life after death and what it may or may not look like, where some question if it even exists, Jesus gave us a certain and perfect picture of the glorious resurrection body. He also told us we’d have a glorious body like his own. Eternal life is assured, real, and physical with dimensions beyond the four that we live in now. Is the Ascension significant? Absolutely! Rejoice! He’s coming back in the same way his followers saw him leave.