THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

 

Hello friends, once again I bring to you yet another life-transforming message today. And we seek your audience as we continue. It is my prayer and desire that this message will cause you to have a change of mind and a change of attitude. The power in the Word will affect you for good.

Again, I bring this message in the memory of our Late Second President, Dr. Joshua Ihemelem Uhiara who commenced The Healing Words for The Master.

Our topic today is, The Ascension of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

The Ascension of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST

And we will be reading from the Book of Acts 1:9-14

Acts 1:9-14

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

 

Let us Pray.

PRAYER

Heavenly FATHER, we thank YOU for YOUR Word. We thank YOU that YOU have made available YOUR will and YOUR purposes. LORD, as we, O GOD our Father, look at the significance of the ascension of our LORD JESUS CHRIST help us to gain understanding and wisdom…in JESUS’ Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!

The Ascension of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST

Every phase of the life and ministry of JESUS CHRIST has an important significance in the Salvation Story. Of them all, the resurrection of JESUS is the defining event in the Gospel Story. It is the pivot on which Christianity turns, as it were. For a dead JESUS would have left the world with a dead religion like every other religions with dead saviours today and dead founders.

But today, we will move from resurrection to ascension, and will consider its particular significance.

The significance of the ascension of our LORD JESUS CHRIST

  1. Having accomplished HIS mission on earth JESUS returned to heaven from where HE came. In The Book of John 3:13 the bible says,

John 3:13

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man  who is in heaven.

This text tells us that JESUS came down from heaven and ascended back to heaven. But there is one puzzle in the verse, and it is this, While JESUS was on earth as a Man HE was also in heaven at the same time. This is the property or the nature of GOD for omnipresence. It’s a characteristic exclusive to GOD alone.

AJ Gordon, in his Classic Handbook, on The HOLY SPIRIT, commenting on Divine Omnipresence, and with particular reference to John 3:13 says, “With GOD, unlike finite man, arrival in one place does not necessitate withdrawal from another.” He goes on to say, “CHRIST on earth, and yet in heaven, or glory here and there, at the same time.”

The arrival of JESUS on earth does not necessitate withdrawal from heaven where HE came from. This is one proof of the deity of divinity of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. The return of JESUS to heaven after paying for the sins of the world with HIS life has this important significance that Peter pointed out on The Day of Pentecost. In Acts 2:32-36, and I read,

Acts 2:32-36

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

What significance are we talking about? We will look at two of them:

  1. The coming of The HOLY SPIRIT to dwell permanently on earth in and among those who received the salvation JESUS paid for.

Peter said that, the manifestation of the presence and power of the HOLY SPIRIT on The Day of Pentecost was proof that JESUS had arrived in heaven. It says, Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:33.

So one of the significance of HIS ascension to heaven is the pouring out of The HOLY SPIRIT to the believers: the apostles – and subsequently the believers that will come up through them. The blessing of the Pentecost, the ministry of The HOLY SPIRIT in The Church age is an important significance of the death, resurrection and ascension and glorification of JESUS.

In John 7:37-38 we read,

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those  believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Recall what JESUS did when HE notice that HIS disciples were sad that HE was going to return to heaven. HE comforted them with these words in John 16:7, 8 and 13. HE said to them,

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Indeed it is to our advantage that JESUS ascended into heaven ushering in the dispensation of the HOLY SPIRIT. Unfortunately, a large segment of the Church of JESUS CHRIST carry on as though the HOLY SPIRIT does not exist. We are like the disciples of John that Paul met at Ephesus who said to him, we have not so much as heard whether there is a HOLY SPIRIT – Acts 19:2.

Someone has observed that much of our church activities would be interrupted and would still go on if the HOLY SPIRIT were to quietly leave today. This is a serious indictment! It means that much of what we do is not in the wisdom and strength supplied by The HOLY SPIRIT who after JESUS had ascended into heaven came to perform the following functions:

a. To convict of sin – both sinner and saint: in the former to produce regeneration; and in the later to produce purification or sanctification.

b. The second thing the HOLY SPIRIT will do is to seal the believer giving him or her assurance of salvation and consecration.

c. The third thing The HOLY SPIRIT will do is to fill the believer, enabling him or her to work the works of GOD as JESUS would and could do it.

d. The HOLY SPIRIT will anoint the believer, giving him or her a holy sanctifying touch to qualify him for service.

Priests, prophets and kings were anointed in the Old Testament to qualify them for the office. You’ll see that in all the passages: Leviticus 8:12, 1 Samuel 16:15 and of course 1 King 19:16.

JESUS our great High Priest and Priest, Prophet and King was also anointed as we read from Luke 4:18.

e. The fifth thing The HOLY SPIRIT is supposed to be doing is to administer the Church of JESUS CHRIST.

I want to ask, Is The HOLY SPIRIT administering the local church in which you are?

  1. The second significance of The Ascension of JESUS CHRIST is HIS glorification. Peter said on The Day of Pentecost, regarding the ascension of JESUS,

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

The glorification of JESUS, an important significance of ascension, is HIS exaltation; the glorification of JESUS is HIS assumption of position of authority and power at the right hand of The FATHER with HIS enemies as HIS footstool. The glorification of JESUS is HIS being declared or made to be LORD and CHRIST.

Unfortunately today, HE is not LORD to many people. This was the same thought which Paul Expressed in Philippians 2:9-11 when he says,

Therefore God also has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because of HIS ascension and exaltation we have a savior to whom every knee bows – if not now but ultimately. We have a Saviour who is not only present with us at all times – HE’s there for us. We have a Saviour who is not only prominent in all the affairs of life – but a Saviour who is preeminent in all things.

Let me ask you a question, Do you have JESUS as your Lord and Saviour?

Let us pray

PRAYER

Heavenly FATHER – The FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, as many as have heard YOUR Word I do pray and ask, O GOD, that they will have a rethink, and they will come to terms with the fact that JESUS is both LORD and SAVIOUR; and being LORD is to have rulership over their lives. Enable them to take this important decision in their lives in order to honour HIM whom GOD has exalted and glorified…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. Amen!

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