CHAPLAIN’S WORD 13 MAY 2018
You are most welcome for today’s service in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. A special welcome to all our guests. Thursday 10th May 2018 was Ascension Day. Today is therefore the Sunday after Ascension and we will continue to explore the meaning and significance of Ascension according to the Holy Scriptures.
The story of the Ascension of Jesus Christ is told in Acts 1:4-11 and Luke 24:50-53 which all refers and means the going of Jesus Christ to heaven in the period of post- resurrection (strictly 40 days after resurrection). Where He is seated on the right hand of God, the Father and will return to earth to judge the living and the dead (refer to the creeds).
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ASCENSION
Therefore, the following summarise the significance of the Ascension of Jesus Christ;
- It signifies the fact that the resurrection truly took place (Acts 1;1-3)
- It draws the church’s attention to Jesus Christ’s command to the disciples that they were to wait in Jerusalem for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4)
- It introduces the disciple of Jesus Christ to the reality of the era of the promised Holy Spirit of God without whom the followers of Christ would not have power to do anything (Acts 1:8).
- “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Therefore Jesus is in heaven preparing places for permanent residence for the believers.
- Jesus Christ is seated- a sign that his atoning work is complete and final.
- He intercedes for His people (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25) ‘Entynchano. The Greek word for intercede means looking after one’s interests.
- The Ascension also signifies that the church must wait in hope for the second coming or return of the Lord Viz; “…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).
- He is waiting until His enemies are subdued, and He will return as the final act in establishment of the Kingdom of God (1Corinth 18:24-26)
- He ascended so that he would fill the whole universe (Eph. 4:10); through the Spiritual gifts of ministration- by sending Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, pastors and Teachers to prepare God’s people for work of service…” (Ephesians 4:1-13) and Jesus promised to be with them always (Mathew 28:16-20)
- Before Jesus Christ Ascended into heaven he charged his followers through the great commission to be his witnesses throughout the world. He said; “therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Mathew 28:16-20) and “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth”. (Acts 1:8).
In conclusion, the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven as recorded in Acts 1:9 and Luke 24:51 is a historical fact which up to now has never been disputed.
We are obligated to believe in the Lord with faith and find our places in heaven for permanent eternal life.
May the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ make you more faithful and hopeful in waiting for His return to judge the living and the dead.
Udongo Albert Festus (Rev. Canon)
QUESTIONS FOR HOME CELL BIBLE STUDY AND PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Read carefully Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:50-53.
- How far does it become clear to you that Jesus indeed went to heaven?
- Can you show your audience any evidence of Ascension?
- Reflect more on the implications of the significance of Ascension above in your life.