I wonder how many Christians missed today, a most holy and significant day, a day of hope and gladness, and joy, even a day of great expectation…looking up, watching, because this is the day of the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, when, 40 days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to Heaven to be with His Father. Today, May 13th, 2021-not just any year, but “In the Year of Our Lord,” 2021…almost 2,000 years ago (1,988 years to be closer if we use the date of 33 A.D.).
Jesus had resurrected from the dead on the third day to a new, glorified, eternal body, and after seeing His disciples in Jerusalem, He told them to meet Him up in Galilee as soon as possible. Probably a month or so before He was to ascend to Heaven, they journeyed from Galilee to the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
In Acts, Chapter 1 we follow the story of when they arrived on the Mount of Olives, the same place where He had been betrayed and arrested, He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, “not many days from now.” And while they were still together His disciples asked Him if He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?
Jesus answered: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power.”
“But,” he said, “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
For now, Jesus would save the timing of His kingdom on earth to His beloved disciple, John, who would write the Revelation some 62 years later as a prisoner on the island of Patmos. And perhaps they were thinking back to what Jesus said at the Last Supper in the Upper Room, that He was going to prepare a place for them and would one day come back for them…that where He is there they would also be. But Jesus would leave that explanation to Paul and the teaching of the Rapture of the Church.
And now the time of Jesus being on earth was up!
“And when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel.”
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”
And that’s why we celebrate this most awesome day! Because Jesus ascended into Heaven, we too one day shall all ascend into Heaven when Jesus comes back and calls us to Himself, in the air, above the clouds…all, all who have believed on the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
The Holy Bible tells us there have been six men who were taken up to Heaven, raptured: Enoch, Elijah, Ezekiel, Jesus, Paul and John. Enoch, Elijah and Jesus stayed; Ezekiel, Paul and John returned Two wrote about their experience; one did not.
The next ascension will not be individual, but a large, uncountable group will be gathered to Jesus in the air, above the clouds at the command of His voice and the sound of the trumpet…the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be changed…and together we shall rise up to meet Jesus and follow Him home to the Father.
I believe this will be the 7th ascension, the completion of the Church Age, when the body of Christ will be reunited with Him forever.
Therefore, let us celebrate this special day in honor and in remembrance in the eternal hope and all He promised for all those who love Him. Blessed be the name of our Lord Jesus forever and ever.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen ..