May 01, 2019

He Ascended into Heaven

Mark 16:19-20

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

—  Mark 16:19

"He ascended to heaven." People who believe in Jesus Christ have been reciting these words for many centuries. We find these words in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, for example. Maybe you have heard of these creeds of the church. Based on the teachings of the Bible, they remind us of something that is both wonderfully simple and astoundingly great: Jesus has gone bodily to be in the very presence of God!

But what does this mean? What is the significance of this belief? The main thing is that Jesus, who rose from the dead after dying to pay for all our sin, now lives and rules with God the Father in heaven. And yet Jesus is also with us always— through the Spirit of God, who comes to live and work in our hearts. Jesus’ ascension made all of this possible.

Over the next few weeks, let us reflect together on the meaning of the ascension. Why did Jesus return to heaven? How did he prepare his disciples— and us—for his heavenly reign? And how are we to live in light of our Savior’s role in heaven at God’s right hand?

The Christian faith calls us to remember a simple truth: Jesus ascended. But it also invites us to grow in our faith in the ascended Lord. In these coming weeks, may we learn to say with wonder and excitement, "He ascended!"

Ascended Lord, you are our Savior and King over all things. By your Spirit, speak to us and guide us, that we may worship and honor you. Give us power to serve you and to share with others all you have done. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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