"Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come again in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:11.
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most beloved and well-studied subject in the world. So much ink has been spent trying to understand and explain the profound impact that his life has had on those that believe upon him. Not only that, but one of the most popular genres in the past 100 years is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It seems there's no end to the appetite people have for material related to when Christ will return and what the signs of his coming will be. But what it seems we never hear about is the significance of Christ's ascension. And yet it is vitally important to the faith. Let's consider a few things.
First of all we would note the significance of Christ's ascension because he is glorified in it. If you think about it, Jesus spent 33 years in humiliation. He was the Prince of Heaven and he left that exalted role to come to earth in order to redeem us from our sins. He lived the life of a poor man, he was despised and rejected by his brothers, he was condemned to die, and he suffered the death of a criminal when he was crucified. It's really only at his resurrection that Jesus begins to be exalted for who he truly is. And when the ascension takes place and Christ is lifted up before them he is exalted as he is taken up in a cloud of glory. He ascended before them in such a way as to show them he was picking back up the glory that he had shared with the Father for all eternity prior to his incarnation.
Secondly, the Ascension marks him as being crowned the King of all kings. Jesus had pleased the Father in redeeming his people and in exchange the Father makes him their King (see Ps. 2). Finally, Jesus has ascended to the right hand of the Father for a purpose. He ever lives to make intercession for his people. All of the sacrifices in the Old Covenant had to be repeated year after year, but the death of Jesus puts an end to all sacrifice. You need not wonder if all your sins are forgiven. If you are in Christ they have been dealt with once for all. Let us rejoice in the Ascension.
Jarrod Belcher is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Williamson. He writes a weekly column. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.