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. Brittany Buckner says:

    Oh what a Savior! Isn’t He wonderful! Sing Hallelujah, Christ has Risen!!!!!

    1. Mari V says:

      Love that worship song. When running I think it out loud sometimes LOL

  2. Karen Bailey says:

    Beautiful Savior and ascended Lord, reign in my Life!

  3. Karen Bailey says:

    Praying that as God restores you, that He shows you how He is able He is able to heal and help you and wants to. As one who walks a journey of healing I can say Jesus is worthy of being trusted. Even when it looks bad scary painful. Jesus is working. Run to Him Let He lad you to wholeness. Believe. Believe that Jesus died and rose for you to be whole. Don’t believe it’s for others. The arm of the Lord is not to short. (Isaiah 59)

  4. Deb says:

    Amen! Tracy, praise God for taking care of all the aspects of your life and all of our lives!

  5. Churchmouse says:

    “Why do you stand looking up in to heaven? “
    This is me sometimes. I read my Bible and I know what the Lord is telling me to do. But I stand around, looking up to heaven, rather than getting up and obeying what He has said. We’ve all been told that our head knowledge of our Lord must translate into heart knowledge and then into action. Bible application is to be as valued as Bible knowledge. Lord, help me to quit standing around. Help me to put my love for you into loving others so that they might know You. Let others know we are Christians by this active love. Amen.

  6. Shawn Parks says:

    As citizens of His kingdom we have both rights and responsibilities. We have the right to come before his throne and present the requests of our hearts. Our benevolent king instructed us to ask in His name and it would be given to us by His power, His justice, and His grace. We need not fear coming before our great king for He desires us to call on Him and come before Him. As citizens of His unending kingdom, we also have great responsibility. First, we must honor Him with our thoughts, words, and deeds. He deserves this honor for He is above the angels. The world was created through Him. He died on a cross taking our place and suffering our just punishment. We also have a responsibility to be witnesses to this truth by telling others of His reign and inviting them into his kingdom. We need, however, to witness in action and word. To love our neighbors as He loves us and to share our testimony to the unequalled majesty and boundless compassion of our king becomes our daily charge. Grant me, Lord, the strength, wisdom, and mercy, to represent your kingdom as an ambassador to those who don’t know you!

  7. Angie says:

    Holy, Holy, Holy
    Only Thou art worthy.

  8. Tracy says:

    The end of John 14:19 stood out to me today, “…because I live, ye shall live also” It is like the song “because he lives, I can face tomorrow”. As someone who has struggled with mental health and suicidal thoughts my whole life, this verse and that song mean so much to me. Simply because he lives, I can live too. I can get up and face another day, victorious in Him. I’m so thankful today that because of Him, I have been hooked in with a great practitioner who has found the right mix of medications to stabilize those thoughts. It’s a daily struggle but also a daily reminder of how great God is and how with this reminder today, I can keep going. Just because he lives also.

    1. Debbie Miller says:

      Yes Tracy! So glad God spoke to you on all this. Life is ours in Christ!

    2. Nancy Stinson says:

      When suicidal thoughts assailed me years ago, I learned that if I would give it a day or two, the fog of depression would lift. Now I know that the Holy Spirit was, and is, the lifter of my head. Now the thoughts no longer enter my mind because I have learned to replace the negative with God’s positive. I am so glad you have been “hooked up” with a great practitioner, and that you know the Great Physician who is always with you. Giving God the glory!

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