A pastor friend of mine says that the church may have an “Ascension deficit disorder.” By this he means that we typically ignore the meaning and significance of the Ascension of Jesus. After the resurrection, many witnesses encountered the risen Jesus during a forty day period. At the conclusion of the forty days, several biblical accounts describe Jesus’ departure from earth into the presence of God.
Have you ever thought about why the Ascension of Jesus is important to your faith? This Sunday, my message will focus upon Luke 24: 44-53. These verses include Jesus’ final words to his disciples before his Ascension into heaven. Jesus “opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” Then he told them to stay and wait “until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Shortly after these instructions, he blessed the disciples “and was carried up into heaven.”
The Ascension of Christ reminds us that the same Jesus who walked the earth and lives within the hearts of his followers also sees the world from heaven’s perspective. We need to be reminded that there is a much bigger story and a much broader perspective through which God sees our lives. Jesus is more than our friend who walks through life with us. Jesus is also the One who reigns from heaven over all nations and all people.
The life of faith is all about people; how we show the love of God to people, and how we see God’s image in people. Jesus’ Ascension helps us to see all people from the heavenly perspective of the One who has made salvation available to the whole world.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday, and I depend upon your prayers.
Pastor Steve Hart