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Ascension - Scott Richardson

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Schedule Of Services:

Sunday Morning:
Bible Study   9:00
Worship      10:00

Sunday Evening:
Worship       5:00

Wednesday Evening:
Bible Study   7:00

 

 

Jackson Drive's Address:

1110 Jackson Drive Athens, Alabama 35611

 

Preacher:

Scott Richardson

 

Elders:

Malcolm Andrews

Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive

Admonisher

November 7, 2010

Ascension

Observation

Luke, wrote to Theophilus in his first account “about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day when He was taken up into heaven.” Then in his second account (the Book of the Acts of the Apostles), he rehearses the events and instructions to the apostles by Jesus before His ascension. In fact, Luke’s very foundation for his record in Acts is built on these instructions — “you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” — and the ascension of Jesus: “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand look- ing into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’” (Acts 1:9-11).

Does the ascension of the Christ really matter that much? Luke seemed to think so. The apostles seemed to think so. God seems to think so. If it is so important, can we be sure it was a real event?

It is factual. It happened.

The apostles saw it and are witnesses of it. This was a real faith builder for these men who only a short time before had forsaken Jesus and fled. Remember what Luke recorded? “… He was lifted up while they were looking on …”

It is a highly significant event.

This had to take place for a number of reasons:

This had to take place for the words of Jesus to be fulfilled (John 6:62). Remember what Jesus said to Mary: “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God’” (John 20:17). He was going to the Father for a reason (Mark 16:19).

Jesus had to leave in order for the Holy Spirit to come — “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away …” (John 16:7). This was so important. The Holy Spirit had a work to do, too (John 16:12,13).

This had to take place for Jesus to go to prepare a place for others; “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:3-4).

This had to take place in order for Jesus to serve in the role of high priest and mediator. “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:24,25; Romans 8:34).

Jesus had to ascend to be exalted as king and ruler (Philippians 2:6-11). This had to take place for Jesus to reign at the right hand of God. “And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:19-23).

It is also a reminder to us.

Even the clouds remind us of important things. Jesus was received up into the clouds. This may be saying no more than that Jesus went upward until the apostles could no longer see him. Still, we are reminded of the cloud being a symbol of God’s presence for the Jews in their deliverance from Egypt. We are further reminded that the apostle later insisted that the redeemed will be caught up together with Jesus in the clouds when He comes again (1Thessalonians 4:17).

Application

Instruction:

odhgew (hodegeo) — to lead, guide, teach.

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you ... But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:7,13).

Preparation:

etoimazw (hetoimazo) — to prepare; get ready.

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:3).

Mediation:

mesithv (mesites) — an arbitrator, a mediator.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need ... But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.” (Hebrews 4:14-16; 8:6).

Exaltation:

kayizw (kathizo) — to make to sit down, appoint. dexiov (dexios) — the right hand or side.

“... These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:19-23).

—S. Scott Richardson Sr.


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