Our Savior Ascends
Open Your Bible
Acts 1:1-11, John 14:18-21, Hebrews 1:1-13, Revelation 1:7
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.”