2017 Ascension Day

There are many reasons why Jesus ascended into heaven and sat down that the right hand of God the Father almighty. He had finished his work on earth of redeeming us by his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. He deserves all the glory and honor due to him for redeeming us from sin, death and the power of the devil. He should be at the right hand of God the Father almighty for all that he did for us.

Another reason for Jesus’ ascension is that he had to return to the Father in heaven to show their unity. It was vitally important to Jesus that people realize he came from the Father and was returning to the Father; that he and the Father were eternally one.

He did not come to this earth on his own but because of the Father. The fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John is the great “Jesus and the Father” chapter of the Bible. Jesus mentions the Father 29 times in this chapter. Here is just a sample:

John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (ESV)

John 14:9 “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (ESV)

John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (ESV)

John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV)

If Jesus had remained here on earth it would have been harder for people to realize that he was one with the Father. Basically, He would have continued to talk about the Father all the time till someone would eventually say, “You talk so much about the Father why don’t you go to be with him?”

Now, with his ascension there is no doubt; he is one with the Father.

It is also important to note that nothing that happened here on earth disrupted the unity of Jesus with his Father. Even when he died on the cross, when he was forsaken by the Father as he carried our sins, he was still one with the Father. He was one with the Father because in dying for us on the cross he was carrying out the Father’s will. To be one with the Father’s will he had to be forsaken by the Father as he bore our sins on the cross.

In John 17 Jesus relates his unity with the Father to our unity:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (ESV)

With all the divisions in the body of Christ it seems like a tall order for all the followers of Jesus to be one. Yet, there is a hidden oneness that exists among all who confess that Jesus and the Father are one.

It follows that there is no true unity among believers if there is no agreement in confessing that Jesus and the Father are one.

The angel said to the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 ESV)

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