Monday, August 21, 2017

The Ascension of Jesus Into Heaven

"But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you." (John 16:7)

I don’t think that the Christian church has ever fully believed what Jesus says in this verse. I’m sure we don’t really believe it today, unless you're blessed to be in a tradition that emphasizes the mediatorial reign of Christ. Jesus was saying this, “It is better for you that I leave.” Let us briefly look at three reasons why this is so.

The first benefit lies in where Jesus went. He went to the right hand of God and took His seat of cosmic authority. He went to His coronation and investiture. It is because He ascended that He became King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christ is now reigning as the King, and the kingdom has begun. Even though we don’t see the kingdom in its fullness now, it is no less real today. You and I are children of the King, and that should strongly influence how we move through this life. This would not be so if Jesus had not gone away.

The second benefit lies in the fact that Jesus entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, as our High Priest. There He intercedes for us perpetually. If you are a Christian, Jesus is praying for you right now. You have an advocate at the throne. It would not be so if Jesus had not gone away.

There is, though, a sense in which Jesus is with us still. This is because the third benefit of His ascension lies in the fact that He sent the Holy Spirit. There is a sense in which Jesus had to ascend to heaven before He could send the Spirit to endow His church with power. It would not be so if Jesus had not gone away.

Do you really believe what Jesus said in John 16:7, that it is better for you that He be in heaven? Perhaps these are new thoughts to you. If so, jot down these words on a slip of paper: Ascension, coronation, intercession, power. Take it with you and think during the day of the tremendous blessings that come to you from our Lord’s ascension.