The sixth article: He ascended into heaven … - 16 February 2018

Hennie Symington

When He had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going, and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. Acts 1:9

He is taken away on a cloud with the promise to return the same way as he had left – “on a heavenly cloud”. It is here, as at the time of his birth, that time and eternity intersect. With his ascension Christ passed from our time into eternal time to be with God. At the same time, we can be assured that when Jesus ascended into heaven an eternal bond was formed between heaven and earth. Part of the earth had entered heaven, while a token from heaven in the form of the Holy Spirit entered the realm of our earthly existence.

As children of the 21st century these words fill us with scepticism. However, denying that Christ bodily ascended into heaven, or cloaking it in metaphors, robs his Ascension of its meaning. The important point is that Jesus Christ returned to God not only as Jesus Christ but in his human form and nature as Jesus of Nazareth, giving us the assurance that we have a representative of mankind in heaven.

How do we know that Christ’s ascension truly happened? As with his birth and crucifixion, it is linked to an earthly time and space. We know when it took place and where it took place – on the Mount of Olives just outside of Jerusalem. Christ spoke and prayed with his disciples beforehand, giving them last instructions.

Prayer:  Lord, how we long for the time when heaven and earth will be one, and the tears of this earth will be wiped away and you will be all in all. Amen

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