“Ascension Day commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter although some denominations move it to the following Sunday.1
“The ascension has been included in every important creed of the church because it teaches the enduring complete humanity of Jesus as the only mediator between God and man.”2 “[E]verything that stands between us and God has been dealt with and has been removed.”3
“The ascension is Christ’s return to heaven from earth. Jesus lives, now and forever, as true man and true God to mediate between God and man. He will come again as he left, fully God and fully man.”4
“[T]he God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, according to the working of his great might, raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated him at his right hand” (Eph 1:17,19-20 ESV).
“Jesus ‘sits’ to portray the sufficiency of his saving work on earth; he continues a vital, active ministry as he reigns over all creation.”5
Christ’s new status as the God-Man meant God gave Him privileges He did not have prior to the incarnation. If He had not lived among men, He could not have identified with them as the interceding High Priest. Had He not died on the cross, He could not have been elevated from that lowest degree back to heaven as the substitute for sin.6
Though the full penalty for our sins was paid at the cross, Christ’s priestly work didn’t end there. It continues to this day in heaven, where Christ ‘appears in the presence of God on our behalf’ (Heb 9:24). Our eternal redemption was secured—not simply by Jesus dying on the cross—but through Jesus entering heaven by means of his own blood. In short: no ascension, no salvation.7
“[T]he ascension wasn’t simply Jesus going home; it was Jesus being enthroned.”8
Christ is a teacher that He may be a king; Christ is an example that He may be a king; Christ is a Savior that He may be a king; this is the great end and object that He has in His life, His death, His resurrection, and His second coming—that He may set up a kingdom among the sons of men to the glory of God.9
“Jesus Christ, [is] the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev 1:5 ESV). “O King, live forever, and we shall find our life in Your life, and glory in promoting Your glory.”10
(26) The Savior Lives No More to Die
1. Joe Carter, “9 Things You Should Know About the Christian Calendar,” 1 December 2019, The Gospel Coalition, 3 July 2021 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-know-christian-calendar/.
2. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2517.
3. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Great Doctrines of the Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003) I:348.
4. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2526.
5. ESV Study Bible.
6. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 501.
7. Justin Dillehay, “What Jesus’s Ascension Does for Us,” May 30, 2019, The Gospel Coalition 15 February 2021 https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/4-reasons-ascension-matters/.
9. Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons on New Testament Men (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications 1994) 115.
11. Isaac Watts, “Christ’s Victory, Death, and Dominion,” 1838 Gadsby’s Hymn Book, 15 February 2021 https://bethlehemswell.com/hymns/168/.
13. Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring, “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” 1851, Hymnary, 15 February 2021 https://hymnary.org/text/crown_him_with_many_crowns.
14. Isaac Watts, “Christ’s Victory, Death, and Dominion,” 1838 Gadsby’s Hymn Book, 15 February 2021 https://bethlehemswell.com/hymns/168/.
16. Samuel Medley, “Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also,” 1838 Gadsby’s Hymn Book, 15 February 2021 https://bethlehemswell.com/hymns/751/.