“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
Christ’s ascension is an often-neglected passage. It shouldn’t be.
Theologians tell us that the disciples watched as Christ ascended to His throne until clouds obscured Him from their sight. He was taking the seat from which He exercises “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). What else was happening in the courts of heaven, invisible to our eyes? Much has not been revealed to us, but what we have been given can whet our appetite for heaven.
When the risen Jesus traversed the threshold that separates earth and heaven, He strode into the joy of His Father, went from the realm where He completed His work to the heavenly sanctuary. Victorious over Satan, having disarmed and despoiled him of a mighty host of captives given to Him by the Father, He ascended to His throne. He entered the presence of the Father, whose transcendent power, holiness and mercy have been vindicated by His beloved Son and Champion, the Lion of Judah.
Perhaps in that moment, the countless fearsome angelic beings abased themselves in wordless awe, then rose to shout and shake the very stars with their praise!
As He entered heaven, in union with Him was a host, a nation, a vast new people as diverse as the manifold peoples of the earth, a palette of “living stones” for His unending praise, given to Him by the Father. Before the throne of God’s grace, in heaven’s sanctuary, we are represented by the Righteous One. There we have God’s own Son, forevermore bearing the wounds He received to make atonement for us.
There before our Father He is not ashamed to call us His brethren. There He rules over the entire universe for the high glory of God and the good of His beloved. From there He prays for us and always sends us aid. He is ever attentive to our prayers, holding our tears and sufferings more precious than the radiance of His halls. There the Lord and King of Glory reigns for His own until all of His (and our) enemies will be made His footstool, until death itself dies and unending, unabated ages of joy ensue.
Today take great strength, comfort and joy in the grace that now flows to us from the Lord Jesus, the ascended King of heaven and earth.
Ascended One, You are mighty. You reign. You are worthy of worship. You are worthy of all. I kneel as Your servant. Flow Your grace toward me.