Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ascension day

This last Thursday (5-14-15) signified a little-known part of the Easter season known as Ascension day, or the Feast of Ascension. (sometimes observed the following Sunday) Which signifies the day Jesus ascended into heaven after spending an additional 40 days on earth after the resurrection. Which is recorded in Luke 24:50-53. Which begs the question why do our traditions honor his birth, his sacrifice, and resurrection so freely and with such emphasis. Yet, we let the day where he officially took his throne in heaven go by without nearly as much notice. Are we trying to keep Jesus in the manger? Are we trying to keep Christ on the cross? Yet, are we trying to keep the Son of God out of the throne in of our lives? They are questions we would do well to consider. Do we really acknowledge Christ as King? Do we really recognize him as an authority over our lives as disciples? Can we truly call ourselves Christians if we don’t?

The final 40 days of Jesus time earth is one of the least documented portions of his life. (Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:9-20, Luke 24:13-53, John 20:19-21:25) The accounts in Luke and John being the most compelling. Yet for the remaining 11 apostles it must have been the most eye opening time. The last 3 years of their lives must have come into focus during these days. The reality of the sheer power of God surly became quite undeniably real to them as they witnessed the impossible become possible before their eyes. All the things that they did not understand before must have become clear as they looked back on them in hindsight. All their preconceived notions were shattered and replaced with truth as Jesus explained how Old Testaments prophecies were fulfilled.  Most importantly what their role in the future church would be. How the responsibility of the gospel was now in their hands. How they had a purpose called the Great Commission.

If Christ is truly our king then we need to prepare ourselves to take up the mantle of the calling ourselves as a member of the body of Christ. Then again, maybe that is precisely why we want to keep Jesus in the manger, or on the cross. We want only the privilege of the gospel, but not the responsibility of it.  

Christ Jesus offering communion from his throne in heaven