Sunday’s Coming–What’s the deal about the Ascension?

As Christians we talk alot about the death of Jesus and we talk alot about the resurrection of Jesus.  And so we should!  The cross and the empty tomb are indespensable elements in the truth of the gospel.  But what we don’t talk about much is what the risen Lord is doing now.  

Good Friday and Easter Sunday are in the past; what’s Jesus up to today?

A whole lot–if we understand the witness of the church.  Jesus is alive and active.  He is Healer, Priest, Prophet, Savior, Counselor, Friend, and more!

And the event that the early church used to signify the ongong ministry of the Risen Jesus was the Ascension.  Jesus has ascended and taken on a role that places him at God’s right hand.   Jesus’ ministry has such power because he is intimately connected to the Father.  Because of his ascended role, according to Justo Gonzalez, “we have been given admission to the very heart of the Trinity!”

So maybe it’s time to get the whole story together–crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension!  Because Jesus didn’t just die for our sins and receive a resurrection body for nothing.  Jesus is working to usher in redemption and a new day.  And it the chapters of his story on crucifixion, and resurrection are powerful, just wait until we see the completion of what he is doing as the ascended, victorious Lord.

Hear the words of Andrew Purves:

“As the risen and ascended Lord, Jesus does not now sit in heaven with his arms folded waiting for us to do something religious that he can affirm (an image from Karl Barth).  Jesus is not our cheerleader from the heavens hoping we will get faith and ministry right.  Neither does Jesus want to get more involved in our ministries.  Why would he?  Our ministries are not redemptive.  We don’t raise the dead, forgive the sinful, heal the sick or bring in the reign of God.  Rather, Jesus has his own resurrected ministry to do—raising the dead, forgiving the sinful, healing the sick, bringing in God’s reign (note the present tense!)—and he wants us in on it.”

Do you hear the challenge of Ascension?  See you Sunday!

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