What happened to Jesus after He came back from the dead?
He spent forty days with the disciples, explaining to them about the kingdom of God.
After that He gathered them at Bethany and ascended to heaven before their very eyes.
Luke 24:50-53 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising God.
What is the importance of the ascension of Jesus? What assurance does the ascension bring us?
1. The Ascension Marks the Day of Completion for His Earthly Ministry
What began in a manger in Bethlehem ended with His return to heaven.
Jesus has successfully completed all that He came on earth to do.
He came to defeat sin, death and the devil in the person of a man.
He triumphed over every temptation of sin and lived a holy, sinless and perfect life on earth.
He preached the gospel, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and brought the kingdom of God to earth.
On the cross He said, "It is finished!" Salvation sacrifice has been offered and completed.
He was dead for three days, but the grave could not keep Him and death could not hold Him back.
He rose from the dead and took back the keys of death and Hades from the devil.
Rev 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
He came from heaven to earth, and now He ascended and returned back to heaven.
The ascension is a completion, conclusion and climax to His earthly ministry.
Therefore our faith is firm and our hope is sure!
Our Saviour has completed His mission, He is victorious and He is alive forever. He has gone ahead to heaven to prepare mansions for us!
2. The Ascension Marks the Day of Coronation for His Heavenly Ministry
The victim has become the victor; the crown of thorns has become the crown of glory!
In the ancient world, when a king wished to honor someone, he offered them a seat at his right hand. It was the highest seat and the greatest honor a king could confer on anyone.
Seated at the right hand of the Father, Jesus is exalted, glorified and enthroned forever!
In His ascension, His earthly ministry was completed, but His heavenly ministry has just started!
What is Jesus doing now? He is interceding for us.
Heb 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Don't be afraid, don't despair, Jesus is praying for you right now.
You have a Friend in high places. He is your Advocate, He is your great High Priest, He is your Mediator. His name is Jesus!
3. The Ascension Marks the Day of Commission for Our Supernatural Ministry
Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Jesus commissioned His church with promises of His power and His presence.
Mark 16:17-20 "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.
Jesus ascended to heaven and assumed His full divinity. He is no longer limited by His humanity. Therefore He can be with us always, even to the end of the age.
One day He would return to earth in the same manner as He ascended to heaven.
Acts 1:10-11 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking 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."
Until that day of His second coming, let us be fully occupied here on earth to reach out in faith and compassion for a lost and dying world.
1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.