Pew news 13th May

Vicar’s Column

This past Thursday was Ascension Day.  Are you clear about Jesus’ Ascension?

I have often been asked what happened to Jesus after he rose from the dead.  Why did he stop appearing?  Did he live for a while and then die again?  The Ascension answers those questions.  It assures us that he did not die again.  He stopped appearing because God took him into heaven.  Forty days after he rose from the dead, his body travelled upwards as his disciples watched on.  A cloud hid him from their sight as he rose higher.  As a result of that upward journey, he was admitted as a bodily human being into God’s unseen heaven.

Isn’t it just a myth, as some suggest?  Luke, the Bible author who reports it is renowned for his accuracy as a historian.  It seems better to accept his account than invent an alternative explanation for what happened to Jesus’ body, for which we can have no evidence at all.   

What happened to Jesus after he rose from the dead?  He ascended into heaven where God installed as the victorious king over all creation and as the priestly saviour of all his people. 

He was crowned glorious king of creation because as the perfect man he succeeded where Adam, the first man, failed.  Adam failed to rule creation.  Jesus – in his perfect obedience, his death and resurrection – overcame Adam’s mess and gained the right to rule. 

He was installed as priestly saviour because all he had done to this point was done to save us.  He was born a saviour; he sought out the lost; he died for sin and rose to give life.  He ascended so that he can give those gifts to anyone, anywhere in the world, who entrusts themselves into his hands. 

Jesus is not in a grave in the Middle East.  He is ascended as king and saviour, seated, his work complete, until he comes again.             




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