Faithlife Sermons

The Ascension of Jesus

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Intro

Celebrate the Victory

The ascension is the exaltation of Jesus Christ; the crowing moment of His victory
*Read Perry, p. 23*
When we don’t emphasize or focus on the ascension, we lose sight of the victory
All 1 plan of salvation: Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection AND ascension
Cf. Philippians 2:7 - 11.
The result of Jesus ascending into heaven is true worship of Him
He is the Name above all names; all people will one day bend their knee and worship Him
Disciples recognized this at the moment of ascension
Refer to account in Luke 24:50 - 53; focus on the response of worship
They know that Jesus is truly God! He is victorious and He is exalted
Our reponse must be the same. We celebrate the victory of Christ when we:
Remember that His exaltation means victory over EVERYTHING
Live a victorious life in Christ
*Insert example or illustration*
Worship Jesus as Lord; the Name above all names
This is not about us! It is about Jesus, who is worthy of our praise

Rely on the Absent/Present Jesus

The ascension provides a paradox: Jesus is now both absent (right hand of the Father) and present (abiding in us)
*Read Perry, p. xii*
Physically absent
Make no mistake, Jesus physically ascended into heaven in bodily form
Not just a metaphor or word picture, etc.
Disciples were “gazing” = staring intently into the sky… because Jesus had gone that way!
In a very real way, Jesus had been on this earth, and then He was taken up away from this earth
His followers knew that this time He had left for good
And left them with quite the task!
Jesus’s mission on earth was complete, the apostles mission was just beginning
Every follower of Jesus from that point on is aware of His physical absence
We have talked much about how the disciples had an experience with Jesus that we could never have
See, touch, feel, hear, etc.
The absence of Christ is still for our benefit
He is our high priest, mediating between us and our Heavenly Father
He is our advocate, interceding on our behalf
He needed to go in order for us to receive the Holy Spirit....
Spiritually present
Christ’s absence is NOT abandonment… He is spiritually present by abiding in us through the Spirit
Why we have SS songs about Jesus in our hearts
Why Jesus can declare to the disciples right before ascension, “I am with you always” (Mat. 28:20)
Cf. John 14:18-19; 25-26.
None of us are orphans; we can rightfully talk of a relationship with Jesus
Christ abides in us and we abide in Him
This presence is spiritual, but it is REAL
*Refer to conversation with Eli and later, Silas (about grandma)*
We need to rely on the physically absent and spiritually present Jesus
Seated at the right hand of the Heavenly Father, He makes it possible for us to approach God’s throne and have our voices heard
This should revoluntionize our prayer life!
Abiding in our hearts, He offers relationship, discernment, courage and hope (among many other things)
You do not have to go through life alone; you are never alone

Prepare for the Return

After Jesus ascends, the disciples are “gazing” (staring intently) into the sky...
What just happened!?!
Two angels come and explain the full meaning
Just like at the resurrection: Explain the unexplainable
Both times = 2 men in white robes
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” = “Why do you stand looking into heaven?
“He is risen” = “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (v. 11)
How did he go? A cloud took Him away
More than just “hid from sight;” a cloud receieved Jesus; literally took Him away
Therefore, He will come back on a cloud… and that means a LOT
Cf. Daniel 7:13 - 14.
Jesus is the Son of Man! He is the Name above all names. He will rule the kingdom of God forever… all of Creation has been waiting for this to happen
Disciples were looking for the restored kingdom of Israel, but the promise here is so. much. BIGGER.
Are you ready for Jesus to return, riding the clouds of heaven?
There is only one proper response: We must be prepared for the return of the King
*Riff off of the LOTR pun; Gondor had stewards awaiting the return of the king*
Don’t live each day like it’s your last; live each day like Jesus is coming back
Eat, drink and be merry -> becoming more like Jesus
Building your own kingdom -> taking as many people into God’s kingdom with you as possible
Overwhelmed with the brokenness of the world -> longing for Jesus to return and make it right

Conclusion

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