Every year we have Ascension Day. The day commemorates the Ascension of Jesus into heaven 40 days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3-9). Okay, so this may sound like a dumb question, but here goes. So what?
Why in the world did Christ ascend to heaven? What difference does the Ascension of Jesus have for us as Christians today?
In a word: plenty.
A Bird’s Eye View of the Ascension
If we’re honest, the Ascension seems unimportant compared to Jesus’ death and resurrection. After all, we needed Jesus to die for our sins as a mediator between God and us:
- Job longed for a mediator (Job 9:32-33).
- Eli saw the need for one (1 Samuel 2:25).
- Isaiah promised one (Isaiah 53:12).
Jesus became our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). End of story, right? Not at all.
Thanks to the Ascension of Jesus, He is still our mediator. And we still need one.
(Photo: Chapel of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives, by Lisa Mathon, via Wikimedia Commons)
What the Ascension Allows Jesus to Do for Us
Jesus isn’t sipping tea as He sits at the right hand of the Father. He isn’t just hanging around until the Rapture.
Jesus is still very busy on our behalf as our Intercessor.
Here are seven benefits we enjoy as a result of the Ascension of Jesus and His present intercession:
- He asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to us (John 14:16; 16:7). And He did.
- Jesus is our Advocate with the Father whenever we sin (1 John 2:1-2).
- Our Judge is also our Savior (Romans 8:33-34).
- Because Jesus’ intercession for us is permanent, so is our salvation (Hebrews 7:24-25).
- Jesus understands our weaknesses and temptations (Hebrews 4:15).
- He is able to help in temptation (Hebrews 2:18).
- He provides mercy and grace when we ask (Hebrews 4:16).
When I review these seven benefits, I’m convinced the Ascension of Jesus is more than just a historical event. And it’s far more than some dull, dry doctrine.
It gives us reasons to be thankful on Ascension Day.