What’s this Thursday? Let me think . . . Is it my wedding anniversary? A family birthday? A doctor’s appointment? A graduation?
No, Thursday is Ascension Day. This important day marks the ascension of Jesus into heaven. It happened on a Thursday, 40 days after Jesus rose from the dead on the first Easter morning.
On the original Ascension Day, Jesus gathered his disciples on a hill outside Jerusalem, near Bethany. After speaking with them, he rose into the sky until a cloud took him from their sight. (read Acts 1:1-11)
By His ascension, Jesus visibly entered into His glory. He would no longer appear on earth as He had before.
Ten days later on Pentecost, He would send the Holy Spirit to the disciples to give them power to go out and preach the gospel all over the world.
OK, so Jesus’ ascension was a great event for the disciples. But what does it mean for me?
It means that Jesus has successfully conquered sin, evil, and death by His sacrificial death on the cross. By trusting in Him, we receive the forgiveness that He won for us by His death.
Jesus’ ascension means that He rules with all power and glory as our Lord and God forever. This world and our lives are full of difficulties and troubles of all kinds. Yet, we know that we are under our Savior’s watchful eye. He helps and delivers us in ways that we will only understand when we get to heaven.
This world is not out of control. Jesus governs all things for our good and for the good of His church.
On the night before He died, Jesus told His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) Eternal life in a perfect world is ours though faith in Jesus.
At His ascension, the angels promised the disciples that Jesus would come back again in clouds of glory. This promise is for us today, too. Our almighty Lord, at just the right moment, will bring this world to an end with Judgment Day. Then He will raise us from the grave and give us eternal life with Him in the new heaven and earth.
The ascension of Jesus gives you sure and certain hope for this life on earth and for eternity. But while you wait for Jesus to return, don’t stand around idly gazing into the sky. Be a loyal follower of the Savior. Live a life of repentance and faith, of Christian love and service.
And always remember Ascension Day and the important message it has for you.