Friday after the Festival of the Ascension of our Lord
Scripture: St. Luke 24:50-53 (NKJV)
24:50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.
“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.”
St. Luke gives us two glimpses of our Lord’s Ascension, one at the beginning of Acts, and this one at the end of Luke. The last thing this “glimpse” records our Lord doing is blessing them. And with what words did our Lord bless them? The Aaronic benediction that we hear at the end of our Sunday service? Something else? We are not given the words. We don’t know. What we do know is that “He lifted up His hands.” And that says quite a lot, doesn’t it? Nail holes from when He was crucified, but there He stands, alive and ascending into heaven.
The nail holes tell us that the payment for the sin of the world has been made. The living Jesus tells us that His payment has been accepted, and death itself has been overthrown. All that, in and of itself, is the blessing. The disciples joyfully praise God, and we join them. Our salvation has been accomplished, and we rejoice to tell others that through faith in Him they may be justified and made heirs of eternal life together with us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I thank and praise You for Your holy life, Your atoning death, Your glorious resurrection, and now also for Your ascension into heaven; all for my salvation. Fill my heart with gratitude, and by Your Holy Spirit open my mouth to speak of it. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.