Thy Kingdom Come and Ascension
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Ascension, Thy Kingdom Come
Big churchy words. What does it all mean.
And before we even jump in there, if you’re following the passage in your bibles, you’ll find this part of Mark’s gospel is in italics. Read the footnote and if you have any questions ping me and email or ask me after the service about this part of Mark. It’s fascinating but it would take away from the sermon if I go into the detail now.
It’s enough for me to say that we don’t believe that Mark himself wrote this final part of chapter 16, but Christians in the 2nd century added this based on the other gospels and Paul’s writing because the original final page of Mark’s gospel seems to have fallen out of the book. I’m confident that this is still scripture, but there’s an interesting discussion for you and me to have should you want it after.
I wonder when you’ve needed a friend to step in and use their voice to help you? Perhaps it’s when you’re looking to rent or buy a house and you need a guarantor to vouch for you and to say they’ll cover any missed payments. I’m often asked to write references for children from church who’s parents want them to get into a church school.
There’s something about your friend being in a position of access. The door may be closed to you, but your friend knows the right people, or is in a position of responsibility to ask on your behalf.
It’s a bit like this with Jesus being at the right hand of God.
The Ascension of Jesus is that moment where we see the resurrected Jesus now lifted higher than ever before.
The disciples had seen him lifted high on the lips of praise from all those who had been healed by him, or moved by him.On the lips of all who cried ‘Hosanna’
He was lifted high at the transfiguration, not literally, but in beaming the glory of God on a mountain, that has to be quite the sight.
Of course, the moment he was lifted high on the cross is where scripture pointed, as his body was nailed to the planks of rough wood, as the wood connected to the pit and the cross levered into the air. As the king of glory was crucified for our sins.
And then that moment three days later when he was lifted high again. This time lifted from the dead to life in the resurrection.
Because he was lifted high out of death by the Holy Spirit of God, we will be lifted out of death to.
And now we see him lifted into the air, into the sky, to the extent that the angels in Luke’s account say
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
He was taken up into heaven, up because that helps us understand that he has actually left our space physically - it’s not that heaven lives up above the world, but the Jesus went fully into God’s space which we call heaven, which is more of a dimension overlapping this world but remaining very separate.
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
Why is it important to you and I that Jesus is sat at the right hand of God?
It changes the way we pray when we know that Jesus is at the right hand of God praying. But it’s not as if God the Father doesn’t want to answer our prayers and we need Jesus to plead our case. No! But we know that God is perfect and hates sin. Jesus’ death on the cross has both destroyed the sin we have ever done and opened our access to the Father by Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
This means that we have
personal 24/7 access to the King of Kings
He cares about our needs
He longs for those around us to know Him and love Him
He listens to our thanksgiving, cries, petitions and praise
We pray knowing that Jesus intercedes with the Father on our behalf
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
And with all of that in mind, we turn to Thy Kingdom Come, this prayer movement across the world, praying that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We’ve been showing the animated video about it the past two weeks, there’s a ton of resources online, but before I explore some of that with you, let’s sit back and watch the youth offering for Thy Kingdom Come’s first day.
Who are your 5 people? 5 people who you are lifting to God at the moment.
In the quiet download the app, pick up the book mark and pray for your 5 people