Acts 1 – Ascension

Read Acts 1

The beginning of the book of Acts contains within it a number of “housekeeping” things.  Luke covers and introduction and explanation of why he continues to write.  He also talks about the replacement of Judas Iscariot, who went out and hanged himself after betraying Jesus and unsuccessfully trying to take it back.

In the middle of all of this, however, is an event that is of paramount importance to the Christian faith: Jesus’ ascension.  Christ’s human presence in heaven is important for many reasons and the event of His ascension, sadly, receives little fanfare or remembrance in the Church.

So why is this so important and how does it benefit us?  How is this even possible if we talk about Christ always being with us, yet we know that He is in heaven?  The answers to this can be found in Creeds and Confessions of the Church.  Of particular interest today is the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 18.

Christ’s presence in heaven is a comfort for us because we know that He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, ruling and reigning with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, for all eternity.  At the same time, we also know that we have an advocate in heaven who is interceding for His people all the time.

Jesus is both fully human and fully divine, so we have confidence also that “we have our own flesh in heaven as a sure pledge that Christ our head will also take us, his members, up to himself.”

Finally, Jesus promises in John 16, that, though He was going away, His departure would signal the sending of the Holy Spirit, something He promises His followers here.  The Holy Spirit’s presence unifies us with Christ to be His body here on earth.