THE WORD: The final ascent

PHOTO CAPTION: “Ascension” by John Singleton Copley (1775) is a painting held by The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass. (Public Domain)

Thursday marked the day of Ascension referencing the ascent of Jesus Christ into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. The followers of Jesus were subjected to a roller coaster of events that began with Christ’s betrayal, the crucifixion, the days of uncertainty and then the resurrection. After forty days, these early Christians then lost their leader again when he ascended to heaven.

The account of the Ascension in the book of Acts reads as the opening stanza to the final act of the story of mankind. With the departure of Jesus and the imminent arrival of the Holy Ghost, the only remaining event is the return of Christ.

The New Testament says Jesus will return just as he left — physically through the clouds — but is currently in Heaven at the right hand of God where he can intercede on our behalf. The story that began in Genesis is now in its final chapter with an ending that is guaranteed for those who believe in Christ.

ACTS 1:6-11

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.