The Lord Jesus Christ - Ascension

The forty days

  • there were forty days between our Lord's resurrection and His ascension
  • Acts 1:1-8 gives us the most information about that period
  • the forty days had :-
    • an evidential value giving incontrovertible evidence that the Lord really was alive
    • an explanatory value
      • He spoke about the nature of His kingdom
      • He explained the nature of the apostolic mission
      • He revealed the source of His, and their, power
    • an evangelistic value
      • He enthused His followers with evangelistic passion
      • the ten - Jn 20:21
      • the Seven - Jn 21: 1-12
      • the eleven - Lk 24:44-53
      • the whole band - Matt 28:16-20.
    • an eschatological value: He promised His presence to the end of the age Matt 28:20.

The ascension

    this is recorded in Mk 16:19, Lk 24:50-53, Acts 1:9-12 but referred to by eleven other New Testament books.

    its manner

      • in broad daylight - visibly - bodily
      • at Bethany
      • to convince the disciples that they need not expect any reappearences, such as they had witnessed in the last few days

    its necessity

      • His resurrection body could not be permanently at home here
      • His holy life and character made the ascension appropriate
      • His redemptive work required such a consummation
      • His gift of the Holy Spirit depended on it. Jn 7:37-39
      • His disciples could now explain why the grave was empty, but the Lord not seen

    Its significance

      • It displaced the fact that His work was accepted, and His claims to deity justified. Phil 2:9-11
      • It inaugurated Him into His heavenly priesthood Heb 2:17-l8.
      • It constituted Him Head of the Church. Eph 1:20-23, 4:8.
      • It assures believers of their own ascension Jn 14:2,19.
      • It causes them to understand the nature of His kingdom, and excites in them an expectancy of His advent. Phil 3:20-21.