Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ascension Day

Ascension Day has come and gone, and is barely noticed if at all by us evangelicals. We certainly remember Christmas, Good Friday (where's a special day to remember all Jesus did between Christmas and Good Friday?- that can wait for another post!), Easter, Pentecost. But what about remembering Jesus' ascension?

When Jesus ascended "to the highest heavens" he was then enthroned on the throne of God, at the right hand of God as well. And he rules now, until all his enemies will be put under his feet. When Jesus took the throne of God he became Lord over all. Yes, he was Lord before, and always has been. Yet this was a special enthroning in which all authority in heaven and on earth was given to him. And after his ascension he baptized his people with the Spirit, the gift the Father had promised.

This means alot for us. Yes, in our circumstances. And beyond that for the entire world. We can rest assured that since Jesus is Lord over all, our following of him will make a difference, no matter what obstacles we face. No matter how hard the going is. And that all we do in the Lord is not in vain in the here and now. Why? Because Jesus is not only resurrected, but he is the resurrected, enthroned Lord. This is what Ascension Day is all about. And it's high time we learn more about this and celebrate it and most importantly, live accordingly.

We are resurrection people already, people of the new creation and the kingdom of God already present, in Jesus. We live as those still carrying our cross in following Jesus. But as those who by faith in the risen, ascended Lord, can overcome the world. This is an overcoming that while of the Spirit has to do with our testimony as well as what we do. It is a following that is not afraid of death itself, because Jesus is Lord over all, including death. And a following that will settle for nothing less than God's kingdom to come, and his will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

This potentially can help me, as I let this truth sink in. Many passages I could have linked here, and due to lack of time I didn't do so. I do give N.T. Wright credit in helping me think on this recently.

What thoughts would you like to share on this?

6 comments:

preacherman said...

Great post Ted.
I never really knew about Ascension Day. I wish we celebrated it like we do Easter.

Rachel Mc said...

My memories of Ascension Day come from my catholic background. It was (is) a holy day of obligation
and I remember going to mass to celebrate the day. Never really thought of it much.....
This brings memories of Mary's Ascension Day, also a holy day of obligation. That was a big to do in May with a girl choosen to crown Mary and a procession from school to the church......
I am not catholic now, and my congregational church did not mention Jesus' Ascension Day.

NaNcY said...

i like the post for for the heads up to awareness and living accordingly. and i think that the reminder anytime of the year is good.

slow and steady

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes Kinney. Easter should be #1, but surely Ascension ought to be remembered in a special way. Just my take.

Wright opened my eyes on that one, though I have thought we've given short shrift to Jesus' ascension and important theology of that.

Thanks, brother.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Yes. I don't know much about alot of details of Roman Catholicism, and probably miss alot more besides, though I did think for a time about considering becoming a Roman Catholic maybe 15 or so years ago, but didn't get to seriously considering it, though I read and did some investigation on them.

But yes. Ascension is important in Scripture and therefore the Church should make more of it. It is, after all, in a sense, Jesus' enthroment to his current place of power and authority, as we are in him. So it's important for us, and we take it by faith that he is Lord of all, though someday he'll make that evident when he returns.

Thanks for sharing that. Interesting.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
True, sister. The truth of Jesus' ascension and special Lordship from that is for every day of the year, and for ever.