Day 19

Our Savior Ascends

from the Because He Lives reading plan


Acts 1:1-11, John 14:18-21, Hebrews 1:1-13, Revelation 1:7

BY Melanie Rainer

I don’t remember the first presidential inauguration I watched as a child, but I vividly remember planning to have one of my own one day—complete with an inaugural ball, naturally. Today my daughter whirls around the living room, singing the songs of Queen Elsa’s coronation day from Frozen, feeling the same flutters of imagination that I did when I watched Princess Mia crowned princess of Genovia in The Princess Diaries.

We hardly ever think of inaugurations as the end of something, but rather as the beginning. And yet, when we read about Christ’s ascension in Acts 1, it can feel like the end of His story rather than the inauguration of His kingdom.

He ascends into heaven, sits down at the right hand of the Father, and history goes on. Often, I stop there: Christ, frozen in time, seated on the throne, and waiting for His return.

But the truth is so much richer, deeper, and more beautiful than that. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He received the mantle of King over all creation.

When Christ ascended, He did so into a cloud. Clouds are often used in Scripture to reveal God’s divine presence, from the cloud that showed the Israelites where to travel by day (Exodus 13:22), to the cloud that filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:35), to the cloud that appeared at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), and the cloud upon which Jesus will descend at His second coming (Revelation 1:7).

Christ’s homecoming to God in Acts 1 foreshadows our own. But the ascension is more than foreshadowing; it also inaugurated Christ’s new role as our advocate. By joining the Father at His right hand, the risen Jesus grants us access to God. On the cross, He became our substitute. At the ascension, He has become our advocate. Tim Keller writes, “When the eyes of God the Father look at you, they see the ascended Jesus; when they listen to you, they hear him.”

Another element of Christ’s Kingship on full display at the ascension was His commissioning authority. Just before He rose to join God, He commissioned His disciples to spread the gospel—not just to the Jewish people, but everyone around the whole world: to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Christ was claiming the whole earth as His kingdom as He rose to take His place as King.

We wait for Christ’s second coming, but today we remember the day He ascended victoriously to the right hand of the Father, inaugurating His rule as King over all His creation. We celebrate the glorious truth about His reign:

“Your throne, O God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.”
–Hebrews 1:8

Post Comments (20)

20 thoughts on "Our Savior Ascends"

  1. Jamie says:

    Which book is the Tim Keller quote from? I just love that!

    1. Nicky Fetting says:

      Not sure of the book Jamie, but this Gospel Coalition article has the same quote – https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-is-the-ascension-so-important/

  2. JC says:

    Tracy thank you for sharing how God has moved in your life. I’m glad you were born and I’m glad you are here!

  3. Steph C says:

    Christ’s ascension was the end of one chapter, and the beginning of a new one! His earthly ministry was over but He is still actively involved. He’s not loafing in a recliner. He’s ruling the world. He’s hearing prayers. He’s advocating for His own. He is God. And one day He will return. Until then we wait … actively. Loving Him by loving others. Worshiping Him by sharing His Hope.

  4. Mari V says:

    I love this: By joining The Father at His right hand, The risen Jesus grants us access to God. I go directly to God. For everything! I cannot do life without my Jesus.

  5. Maura says:

    Jesus be glorified. He is not only seated on the throne. He is with us. May you my King be my words, my life. Please help my life to bear witness to your incredible love. Praise to the King of Kings who is the victory now and until we meet Him in glory. Thank you God for your goodness and grace. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. I will trust His unfailing love.

  6. Kathy says:

    “…and you will BE my witnesses…”
    It struck me that Jesus told them they would be witnesses. He didn’t tell them to “do witnessing”. For me the idea of being means to be still, be silent, stop striving, listen, relax, there’s nothing to fix. Before I can speak the Gospel I need to be sure that my life is a picture of the Gospel. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” It may be a cliche but it’s still true, my actions are going to speak a lot louder than my words.
    I pray that today I will be…be the Gospel, be salt and light.
    “Preach the Gospel every day. If necessary use words.” (I think St. Francis said this.)
    Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Sherrie Bender says:

      Exactly!

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