Festival of the Ascension of our Lord
Posted on May 18, 2023 byunder
Scripture: St. Luke 24:44-53 (NKJV)
24:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.
49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
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.
We celebrate the Ascension of our Lord today. Our Lord Jesus ascended into Heaven and sits on the right hand of the Father to intercede for us poor sinners. Having ascended into Heaven to sit upon the throne that He won by His death on the cross does not mean, however, that He has left us alone.
In the same way that our Lord spoke to His Apostles the words that showed the prophecies in holy Scripture are fulfilled in Him, so too our Lord continues to send to us those who preach the good news of salvation found in Him alone. He is with us continually in His Word. Wherever His Word is preached in its truth and purity, and His Sacraments are administered according to His institution, the Lord is there with us.
He has not left us alone, but sends to us those who strengthen our faith by giving to us the means of grace. By these the Holy Ghost continues to create and sustain faith in us. Our Lord uses these gifts to draw us to Him, to remind us that He sits on the right hand of the heavenly Father for our benefit. He intercedes on the behalf of us poor sinners, showing the Father the wounds that paid for our sins.
Prayer: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to have ascended into the heavens; so may we also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.