I Believe in Jesus’ Ascension

Date: AM
Text: John 14; Lord's Day 18
Psalters: 309, 335, 59, 302
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2015-16)
  1. The history.
    1. Jesus’ ascension anticipated: Heb. 9:11,12, prophesied (Ps. 68:18), foretold by Jesus (John 20:17).
    2. When Jesus ascended a cloud actively received Him out of the disciples’ sight (Acts 1:9).
    3. This change of the location of His human nature marks progress in Jesus’ exaltation.
      1. He ascended because He finished the work He came to do on earth (John 17:4; Heb. 1:3).
      2. Jesus said, “I go to My Father” (John 14:2,3,12; 16:10,28); and the heart of heaven is that it is where God reveals Himself most clearly: His throne and glory (Heb. 9:24).
    4. The ascension marks Jesus as the High Priest presenting His perfect sacrifice to the Father (Heb. 10:11,12).
  2. Jesus’ activity in heaven shows that it was “expedient” (John 16:7), i.e., for the advantage and good of His people.
    1. First, His priestly work is to serve as our advocate before the Father (I John 2:1).
    2. Second, He is our intercessor, constantly praying for blessings to be given to us for our sanctification (Heb. 7:25).
    3. Third, He is able to be with us in a much close sense.
  3. His ascension brings spiritual benefits to us.
    1. He ascended as the Bridegroom (John 14:2) and so He could send the Holy Spirit, Comforter (John 7:39; 16:7).
    2. It is a cause of great joy (though the disciples were initially saddened).
    3. In essence the church ascended with Him (our Head) and sits with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
    4. Practical benefits for us.
      1. Our human nature (exalted in Christ) is as a magnet drawing us there (Heb. 6:19,20).
      2. As Jesus was other-worldly, so now those who believe in Christ are in this world, but are not of it.