Unlimited Once More

See, the Conqueror mounts in triumph,
See the King in royal state,
Riding on the clouds His chariot
To His heavenly palace-gate;
Hark, the choirs of angel voices
Joyful halleluiahs sing,
And the portals high are lifted,
To receive their heavenly King.

—William Wordsworth

PRAYER: (from the United Methodist Hymnal)

“Everliving God, Your eternal Christ once dwelt on earth, confined by time and space. Give us faith to discern in every time and place the presence of Him who is head over all things and who fills all. We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, our ascended Lord, AMEN.”

SCRIPTURES: (from the Lectionary)

Acts 1:1-11
Ephesians 1:15-23
Luke 24:44-53
Psalm 47

Jesus said to them, “…You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:8-11, NIV).

PRAYER FOCUS: What the Ascension Means to Us

This Thursday is known Ascension Day, marking our observance of our Lord’s ascension from earth into heaven. It is, perhaps, one of the more overlooked celebrations in the Christian calendar. But in terms of theological impact, the Ascension ranks with Good Friday and Easter—and ahead of Pentecost and Christmas.

Where the Resurrection of Jesus opened the grave, his Ascension formed our bridge to heaven and eternal life. The Ascension completes His participation in the prophetic sequence of events that began in Bethlehem.

• First there is Christ’s descent to earth—God becoming man by means of the immaculate conception and virgin birth of the baby Jesus.
• Thirty-three years later the Lamb of God receives and carries away the sins of the world for all time by his sacrificial and substitutionary death on the Cross.
• Three days after being crucified to death, in the presence of literally hundreds of witnesses, Jesus is resurrected from the dead. Over the next forty days he is repeatedly seen by people throughout Jerusalem and Judea. Both Roman and Jewish officials would record this for history.
• Then, in an event that demonstrates the unbound power of the Son of God, once again in the presence of witnesses, Jesus is swept up in a cloud and carried directly from earth into heaven.

Without resurrection, Christ’s death on the cross would have been meaningless—crucifixion was a calling card of the Romans, and they crucified thousands in Palestine alone. Without the ascension of Jesus, his resurrection would have been incomplete at best—the world might have a resurrected person, but not one who is now seated at Father-God’s right hand in the place of authority. The way was now clear for God to send the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus, and into the world through the Church.

The event itself demonstrates the unbound power of Jesus the Son of God. Jesus had completed his thirty-three year mission of being confined in time and space to a human body, dwelling among us, sharing both our limitations and infirmities, suffering the pain of death and the humiliation of betrayal and injustice. On this day, as He had promised, he had the unmitigated, incomparable joy of returning, in obedience and in victory, to His Heavenly Father.

On Ascension Day we do not celebrate our Lord’s physical departure from us. Rather, we celebrate the certain knowledge that Jesus was once again unlimited, that he was unbound by any force other than His amazing Love. We celebrate that Jesus the Christ departed the earth in a most spectacular and jaw-dropping manner and was welcomed back into His eternal home, where at the mention of His name, all creatures in the heavens and on the earth and under the earth will forever kneel before Him and praise Him. We celebrate because our Savior and Friend is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, interceding for us even now in this moment.

So let us mark this day and celebrate indeed. Let us join in song with the heavenly host of angels and archangels, with all the generations of faithful saints, with the resounding of heavenly harps and the mighty peals of trumpets proclaiming in unison the ancient hymn,

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.
Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

It’s Monday morning. Are you standing there looking at the sky? We are witnesses to the most amazing supernatural event in all of history. Tell someone. We pray you will have a week full of God’s blessings and rich with the joy of Christ’s victorious ascent to Heaven.

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3 Responses to Unlimited Once More

  1. michael cowan says:

    Thank you brother!

    Michael

  2. Thank you Allen. A great, thought provoking read. I look forward to the Second Coming! May your week be blessed as well.

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