Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Ascension of Jesus

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

I wonder, have you ever reflected on the fact that while no one saw Jesus rise from the dead, He was seen ascending into heaven by the disciples? Of course, people saw the results of The Resurrection - The living and resurrected Christ - But the act itself was not seen. To confirm the resurrection it was not necessary that anyone see him rise out of the grave. Knowing He was dead, people only needed to see clear evidences for the resurrection such as the empty tomb, the grave clothes as they were lying there, and the risen Christ who appeared over and over again.

But by contrast, the disciples saw Christ ascend into heaven, but not the result - Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of God. The act of ascension was necessary to confirm the result - Christ seated. One of the great doctrines of the epistles is Christ seated in heaven, exalted at God’s right hand, and the historic act of The Ascension confirms that for us. Jesus physically disappeared from off the face of the earth, but where did He go? The ascension with the eye witness account of the disciples provides us with the answer and verifies this great doctrine of Scripture. Christ’s ascension (the act seen) is the proof of the result (Christ seated as the victorious and exalted Saviour).

Well what difference does all this make to us? What are the consequences of the ascension? There are many, but here are a few to think about.

It Affirmed Christ’s Glorification

‘And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’. (John 17:5).

It meant a return to His pre-incarnate glory, but it also constituted a glorification of His humanity where He is the Forerunner of all believers who will follow.

It affirmed Christ’s Session

‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name’ (Philippians 2:9).

It declared that He was in heaven, at God’s right hand, the place of the highest honour and authority.

It affirmed Christ’s Intercession and Protection over His own

‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

It affirms His continuing ministry for us at God’s right hand. In declares we have an advocate with the Father and a compassionate High Priest, one who cares for us with the greatest compassion and who both intercedes for us when we sin and prays for us in our need.

It affirmed Christ’s Provision for spiritual help and gifting

‘But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men”.’ (Ephesians 4:7-8)

It provided the means of His gift of the Comforter. Without the ascension, there would be none of the ministries of the Holy Spirit as we know it today. This would mean the absence of power over sin and power for witnessing. We would be a helpless people.

It affirmed Christ’s Preparation

‘In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you’. (John 14:2)

It affirms His promise to prepare a home for His bride. When we lose a loved one who knows the Lord, one of the great comforts is the fact that our loved one has actually gone home and that we will someday be joining them.

It affirmed Christ’s Commission

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”.’ (Matthew 28:18-20)

Jesus’ earthly ministry is to continue through you and me as we make ourselves available to Him as the risen and ascended Lord through the Holy Spirit His gift for ministry.

Because of what the ascension means, it demands a response from us. A response that is full of worship, joy and praise. (Luke 24:52-53)

Have a good week Worshipping and praising God with all joy.

Pastor Barry

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