[So much of what the
Bible records about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is thoroughly astounding. The idea of
the virgin birth is foolishness to the natural mind, as are many of the miracles
performed by our Lord; after all, who could really heal the blind, heal leapers,
and raise the dead. Some mighty
think that the Biblical story of the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Christ must be a fairy tale since it is impossible for any being to actually
live again once they have died. The
ascension may seem like another one of those phenomenal stories that just could
not actually, realistically happen.
Yet, it is recorded in the biblical record with an empirical historical
substantiation that is hard to refute or deny.
This is why the Bible states:]
14 But the natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he
know them, because they are spiritually discerned.]
[Just what is this ascension thing anyway?
The ascension records that after the Lord Jesus Christ was cursed
(mocked, beaten and scourged), crucified, and corrupted (confirmed dead
and in the grave for three days) that on the third day He physically arose from
the grave, and then 40 days latter He physically ascended into heaven where He
now sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.]
[Did Jesus really
ascend as the Bible records or was it just a story made up and recorded by the
disciples? What might indicate that
the ascension really happened just as the Bible records it?]
[The greatest evidence
that the Ascension of our Lord was real and happened, just as it is recorded in
the Bible, is the same evidence that substantiates all of the other supernatural
miracles that surrounded our Lord and His earthly ministry and presence.
The greatest of these evidences are the multitudes of eye witnesses who
testified to the events and the records written concerning those events.
And he led
them out as
far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands,
And when he had spoken these things,
while they beheld,
he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
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. ]
[Acts 1:15 15 And in those
days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the
number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) ]
[Luke, the physician,
having conducted a through investigation into the events surrounding our Lord
Jesus Christ, including His physical ascension, records that there were about
120 brethren who saw Jesus when He was taken up into heaven.
Some might dispute the actual number of witnesses, but without any doubt
there were numerous eyewitnesses who were still alive when Luke wrote.
These eye witnesses substantiated Luke’s record.]
[So where did Jesus
ascend to, ]
[1 Peter 3:21-22
The like figure whereunto
even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of
the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ: 22
Who is gone into
heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and
powers being made subject unto him. ]
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of
our faith; who for the joy that
was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the
right hand of the throne of God. ]
[Without a doubt the
Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the
throne of our Heavenly Father a place of glory and authority.
That is where our Lord Jesus Christ is today, physically in heaven with
His glorified body, awaiting the fulfillment of the times of the gentiles and
the Church age so that He can return to claim His bride by taking up His
redeemed out of this corrupt mortality and clothing them in an eternal glory
very much like His own. As the Bible
[1 John 3:1-3
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that
we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because
it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are
we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see
him as he is. 3 And every
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. ]
[So, we know from the
reliable and substantiated witness of the Word of God that our Lord Jesus Christ
physically resurrected from His grave and that 40 days latter He ascended on
high and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, but what does
the ascension mean for you and I as born again believers?]
Through the ascension Christians receive the:
Provision of our
Comforter (vs 49) [– And, behold, I
send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be
endued with power from on high.
– There are those today who think that if they could have just walked in the
presence of the Lord Jesus Christ then all of their doubts would be assuaged and
they would know for sure who Jesus really was and they too could be saved.
However, even the presence of the Lord and the miracles that surrounded Him left
many unconvinced and uncertain. The
religious leaders of Jesus’ day were unconvinced, even one of Jesus’ own
apostles was uncertain enough to betray Him.
Jesus commanded His disciples to remain in
until the precious gift promised by God would be sent upon them to empower them.
Hence the ascension of our Lord was required for the sake of:]
Gifting of the Holy Spirit (vs 49; John 16.7) [–
The Holy Spirit provides something for us that even the supernatural presence of
a resurrected Savior can not provide.
Hence, Jesus commanded His disciples to “. . .
tarry ye in the city of
Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (vs
49). The indwelling presence of
the Holy Spirit within a believer is undeniable. The Holy Spirit brings an
assurance within an individual that even the physical presence of the Lord Jesus
Christ cannot replace. The
incredible impact of the Holy Spirit upon a believer is what Jesus alluded to
when He said,]
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I
go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I
depart, I will send him unto you.]
the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit
to indwell every believer that would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their
personal Lord and Savior. Jesus
gifted His Church body with the Holy Spirit of God.]
Grounding of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8.14-16; 1 John 5.11-13)
[– The result of the gifting of the Holy Spirit within every believer is the
grounding or sure footedness of every born again believer.
A born again believer will be able to say that he knows that he knows
that he is born again because the Holy Spirit testifies to the fact of his knew
birth within him. Paul said it this
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit
of God, they are the sons of God. 15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have
received the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba,
The Spirit itself
beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
John said it this way,]
11 And this is the record, that God hath
given to us eternal life, and
this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of
the Son of God;
that ye may know
that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of
[The sure foundation
of every born again Christian is not the assurance that they have said a
preprogrammed set of religious and potentially empty words, but that they have
received the living and dynamic Spirit of God into the deepest part of their
being who testifies within them of the physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Christ and their supernatural adoption into the divine and everlasting family of
[The gifting of the
Holy Spirit, given by our Lord Jesus Christ after His ascension provides a
foundation established upon the eternal bedrock of the power and presnece of
Guiding of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2.10,14; Acts 1.8)
[– This guidance of the Holy Spirit is the deep spiritual illumination revealed
by the Apostle Paul in his epistle to
10 But God hath revealed
them unto us by his Spirit: for
the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. ]
[1 Corinthians 2:14 14 But
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know
them, because they are spiritually discerned. ]
[Not only does the
Holy Spirit give us a deep spiritual understanding of the things of God but He
will also empower us to carry the life transforming gospel message to the world
all around us. Luke wrote,]
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.]
presence of the Holy Spirit will give you the supernatural power to both be a
witness and carry the testimony of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.]
our Counselor (vs 50-51) [-
And he led them out as far
as to Bethany, and he lifted up
and blessed them. 51 And
it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up
– By counselor here I do not mean a counselor in the sense of having a trusted
confidant you can talk to. Instead,
I mean a counselor like having an attorney retained and ready to provide
whatever defense is needed at a moments notice.
Few can afford to readily and continuously retain an attorney.
But in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has ascended into the presence of
Almighty God you have a ready and enduring defense against the wiles of the
devil and the waywardness of our lives.]
Your Ascended Savior:
on your behalf (Rom 8.34) [–
The Bible indicates that your adversary, the Devil, is constantly coming before
God and is accusing you. This is
seen most notably in the book of Job.
The devil comes before God and openly declares your sins and iniquities
in hopes that God will render permanent and eternal judgment against you.
But the Bible notes that for the Christian when the devil begins his
accusations the Lord Jesus Christ stands up and intercedes on behalf of the
child of God. The Apostle Paul
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge
of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34
Who is he that
condemneth? It is Christ that
died, yea rather, that is risen again,
who is even at the right
hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.]
adversary the devil steps up to God throne with a hideous accusation against
you, and your ascended Lord and Savior stands up at the right hand of the father
and pleads the blood that He shed on Calvary’s
Cross. Your suffering Savior
became your Standing advocate in the throne room of Almighty God.]
Suffer for your sins (1 John
When you sin Jesus not only stands as an attorney would and pleads your case in
God’s eternal court of justice, but the Lord Jesus Christ stands and pays the
penalty you owe for your sins. John
[1 John 2:1-3
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin,
we have an advocate with
the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the
propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know
him, if we keep his commandments.]
[The Lord Jesus
Christ takes your punishment and suffers the penalty you owe in your place.
God cannot just look over your sin and forget that it ever occurred.
No the cost for your sin must be paid, and our Lord Jesus Christ stands
up as your advocate in God’s eternal court and pays the penalty for your sins by
becoming the propitiation for your sins.]
[Notice the passage
states that “. . . we have an advocate . . .”
sin is and always will be a costly thing.
All sin, even our present sins carry a heavy toll with them.
Your ascended Savior stands ready to be your propitiation and to take the
penalty for your sins upon himself.
Therefore, never look lightly upon your sin, it costs our Savior dearly.]
Sensitive to your feelings (Heb 4.14-16) [– Your Ascended Savior stands at the right
hand of our Heavenly Father so that you can have open access to the very throne
of Almighty God. You can come
personally to your Heavenly Father because of what Jesus was and is for you.
The Bible records,]
14 Seeing then that we have a great high
that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold
fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which
cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points
tempted like as we are, yet
without sin. 16 Let us therefore
come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace
to help in time of need.]
[Hence our ascended Savior not only stands against your
accuser, and takes the full penalty owed for your sins, but He also knows the
depth of your feelings and is positioned to nurture you in your deepest need.
The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is a high priest who knows your deepest
need and can present that need to your Heavenly Father without error or
Promise of our
Coronation (Acts 1.10-11) [–
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.
– The ascension of our Lord has resulted in the indwelling presence of the Holy
Spirit which gives us the assurance of our salvation.
It has also resulted in our confidence in this mortal existence because
Jesus is our advocate and stands on our behalf in the presence of Almighty God.
It should also lead to our expectation and purification as we watch and
anticipate His soon arrival to usher in our eternal coronation.]
We have an
Eternal Heritage (John 14.1-3) [–
For the born again Christian the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ is their
assurance that they have a perfect place prepared for them that will provide an
eternal home and heritage for them.
They not only have the promise of heaven but they know that they are joint heirs
in God’s kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am,
there ye may be also.]
You need an
Eternal Home [– If you have never received the Lord Jesus Christ
as your personal Lord and Savior then today should be the day of your salvation.
Don’t risk your eternal hope and home on some mortal worldly
misconception or religious system.
You need the sure foundation of the indwelling presence of God within you, and
the mortal hope of a living advocate in the throne room of Almighty God, and the
confidence of a coming eternal coronation through the salvation and advocacy of
the living Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.]
April 13, 2008