Ascension Day: A Heavenly Celebration
By John P. King
Today we celebrate a wonderful holiday – Ascension Day. What? You aren’t celebrating? Why is that? Why do we neglect to recognize this spectacular day? Let me suggest one reason we don’t recognize the significance and importance of this day; we haven’t truly taken the time to grasp its full impact.
When we think of Jesus, we tend to envision any of the countless paintings or people who played Him in a movie. However, that is not who is on the throne right now. On this day, the risen Jesus, who met Mary at the tomb, who walked the road to Emmaus with two of His followers, who let Thomas touch his hands and side, and who cooked breakfast for His disciples on a beach has become the ascended Jesus – glorified with the beauty of His holiness and enthroned in the splendor of His majesty. The glimpse seen on the mount of transfiguration is now the full state of Jesus’ being as we see Him in Revelation;
“And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance” (Rev 1:13-16, NLT).
Jesus is re-crowned! The prayer he prayed in his last night before to the cross, has become completely fulfilled because of this day;
“Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began” (John 17:5, NLT).
Can you imagine the processional as Jesus traveled the streets of Heaven returning to the throne He left 33 years earlier? Angelic choirs singing Psalm 24;
“Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The -Lord of Heaven’s armies – he is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:7-10, NLT).
All those who had passed into the Bosom of Abraham now allowed into heaven itself because of redemption’s fulfillment – Abraham and Sarah, David, Samuel, Ruth, Jeremiah, Esther, Noah, John the Baptist, the thief who had hung with Him in death – now lining the roadways celebrating the full triumph and return of the Savior King to His rightful place – the throne of Heaven.
“These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and have Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:19b-23, NASB).
Jesus is KING! He has ascended and is enthroned. Great glory, splendor, majesty, and goodness emanate from Him – it is who He is. EVERYTHING is under His rule and authority. Grasp the impact. We can know that whatever is going on in our lives, Jesus has power over it. Difficulties, trials, temptations, heartbreaks, illnesses, persecutions…whatever name it goes by, Jesus’ name is greater. The Bible encourages us to bring these problems to our King;
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT).
So hail the once and future King! For He has ascended on this day with victory and bids us come.
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John P. King is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and works as a prayer team coach at CBN's National Prayer Center in Virginia Beach. He has a Bachelor's in Bible from Valley Forge Christian College and an M.A. in Practical Theology from Regent University. John authored the devotional book, Don't Smoke the Newspaper and Other Lessons Learned by a Pastor. He and his wife, Genevieve, have two grown children. Send John your comments.
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