Today is Ascension Day – the remembrance of the Ascension of Jesus some two thousand years ago – a day that I believe is misunderstood, certainly ‘downplayed’ by many, and yet it is of supreme importance to us all.
That Oh-So Special Day!
I’ve checked a few Christian websites and here’s a list of their understanding of the significance of the Ascension of Jesus – the event where He was physically taken ‘up’ into Heaven – remiss on one major point, I believe, but here goes: They say the Ascension of Jesus is important, because:
- it signalled the end and success of Jesus’ earthy ministry,
- it marked His return to Heaven,
- it symbolised His exaltation by the Father
- He went to prepare a place for us,
- it marked the beginning of His new work for us (High Priest etc),
- it set the pattern for His return.
But wait! There’s More!
All good, all true. However, there is one more understanding about the Ascension, that I think is of paramount, if not of primary importance, well, at least, too me!
The Ascension of Jesus is the day humanity entered Heaven. And, Ascension Day is the day we remember that cosmic change of huge significance.
Yes, the Ascension (and so Ascension Day being a remembrance of that fact), is extremely significant, extremely important and hugely spectacular, but, ‘underplayed’ by some Believers, when it should be seen as the joyful, amazing, never-been-done-before, physical, substantive and real culmination of Jesus’ plan of redeeming humanity – the God-Man in Heaven. Mentioned in word before, symbolically declared before, and now in that one event a physical reality!
Humanity in Heaven!
I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! [Job 19:25-27, The Book]
Now, that is truly amazing, some would say shocking, but ultimately it’s an act of total-grace-and-love by God for all of humanity. If ever there was something keeping us out, something keeping us at a distance, some real or self-made or assumed disqualification that separated us from the Source, that has been dealt a hefty blow, and Jesus, the God-Man, as our Representative, has opened the door and we’re in (maybe by hanging onto his coat-tails, sure), but humanity is there, and it’s only a matter of time before we all see, enjoy and appreciate that fact.
Time To Celebrate!
And that’s surely something to sing and dance about, or perhaps (especially if you’re British to) quietly reflect upon in the coolness of this evening. Carbon uploaded! Humanity in Heaven! Oh, wow! Are you excited?
[Article header picture/painting is ‘The Ascension’ by John Singleton Copley, 1738–1815]