The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is on the 2nd June in 2019. Ascension Day is celebrated on a Thursday, forty days after Easter Sunday, because Jesus spent forty days with his disciples after he rose from the dead and before he ascended into heaven.
Christ’s ascension was crucial to his ministry and purpose. It all also crucial for every Christian believer. We can find the ascension story in the first chapter of Acts.
After saying this, he was taken up to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight – Acts 1:9
Jesus was taken up from earth into heaven before the eyes of the disciples.
The ascension is a vital part of the redemption story. It must be considered separately to the resurrection, and not merely as part of the resurrection story.
So why is the ascension so important to all believers?
- Christ is no longer an earthly presence. He is now ascending back to his father, as he had predicted. Through the ascension, Jesus finalises his mission here on earth. The fact that the ascension happened assures us that his earthly work was a complete success.
- The ascension marked the time when Jesus once again enjoyed his heavenly glory. Jesus passed through the heavens to be seated at his father’s right hand. Jesus’ ascension began a new period in which he would once again reign without limiting himself to his earthly role. The ascension establishes Jesus as the reigning king in all ages.
- Jesus told his disciples that he was preparing a place for them. He returned to heaven to prepare us a place. While we don’t know what is being prepared for us, we can be certain that it is something to look forward to.
- The ascension was the beginning of Jesus’ work as High Priest. Without the ascension, there would be no Christ interceding for us. As believers, we are comforted in the fact that Christ is interceding on our behalf before God.
- When Christ ascended, he promised that he would, one day, return. He is no longer with us on earth in the flesh, but one day he will be. We now live looking forward to this return. This is a promise that is with us every day, one that we yearn for.
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is an event that has great value and significance to all Christians. It is important to understand how this event has shaped our lives and defines our faith.