The Year: Ascension

The Scriptures record that the Ascension of Jesus occurred in the presence of the apostles. Luke tells us that Jesus had lifted His hands to bless them, and “while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven” (Luke 24:51).  In the Book of Acts, Luke writes, “He was taken up before their very eyes” (Acts 1:9). This occurred 40 days after the resurrection. It is recorded in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:4-11.

Although the place of the Ascension is not distinctly stated, it probably took place on the Mount of Olives. Luke says that following the Ascension, the apostles “returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives” (Acts 1:12).

The imagery of Christ’s Ascension is related to the broader theme of His exultation. The Apostles’ Creed states, “He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter said that Christ has been “exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33). For Christian believers, Ascension Day is a time to praise and joyfully celebrate the name of Jesus, the Christ.

The phrase “at the right hand of God” comes from an expression in the ancient near east. When a king held a banquet, the honored guest always sat at the king’s right hand, which was the most honored seat at the king’s table.

Picture this scenario: Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. In the final resurrection, we who are in Christ by faith will be invited to the heavenly banquet to take our places alongside Jesus at the table. Thus the redeemed from all the ages will be seated alongside Him who is the “honored guest” sitting at God’s right hand.

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