TEXT: LUKE 24: 50 - 53 and ACTS 1: 1-11
READING: Ephesians 1: 1-23
SUBJ: The ascension of our Lord witnessed as assurance of His bodily presence in Heaven and His bodily presence in His return and all that is implied in between the two events.
AIM: That we might derive comfort and assurance as we consider His presence with us and His presence in Heaven at the right hand of the throne of God.
INTR: We would complete our study of the post-resurrection ministry of our Lord with a consideration of His ascension back to Glory with full possession of His resurrected body.
1. We cannot minimize this event in that all that had preceded was culminated with the reception of our Lord in the manner of which we read here.
2. It is not merely that He went home, He went there as the representative of all His people, the redeemed of all ages.
3. We would further note that this is that for which He prayed: And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)
THESIS: His reception back into Heaven in bodily form is the confirmation to us that all He set out to do was accomplished and accepted in the behalf of all who call on His name and that He lives to secure the salvation of His people forever.
I. He led them out (v. 50)
1. Mark refers to the fact that He spoke to them, no doubt in blessing them: So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19).
2. We would be reminded that He had spoken to them on several occasions in the previous forty days (see Matthew 28:19-20; John 21, and others).
1) We would especially remember the commission to them: See Luke 24:47.
2) And promise of the Father in Luke 24:49
3) We would further consider the Luke's record in Acts 1: When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1:6-9)
4) Things of no present concern and a declaration to duty: "Ye shall be witnesses"
3. His departure has been declared to be a matter of expediency in John 16.
II. His reception into Heaven (Acts 1:9 and compare Mark 16:19)
1. The declaration had been made from the cross that it was finished, and that redemptionâ€™s price had been paid.
2. Now, His bodily ascension, while a source of wonder and amazement, was also the confirmation that the One who had borne our sins in His body was found in a state of redemptive holiness - He made us accepted in the beloved!
3. Our presentation was assured: "Behold I and the children which thou hast given me."
4. His acceptance confirmed the outcome of His suffering and resurrection: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
1) We note in Hebrews 1:13 that no angel was ever so placed.
2) And we delight that the man Christ Jesus is seated there.
5. Consider: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)
III. His Position in Heaven (Mark 16:19)
1. Mark confirms to us that He is at the right hand of the throne of God
2. Peter wrote: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:22)
3. What is He doing there?
1) Expecting: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13)
2) Receiving and interceding: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
3) Representing: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 John 2:1) (One mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus).
4) Being touched: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
5) Defending: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10) AND SEE ALSO: At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (2 Timothy 4:16-17)
6) Encouraging: Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. (Acts 18:9-10)
IV. Hear Ye, Hear Ye: But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20) AND: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1)