Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of the Ascension of our Lord

Posted on May 9, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
Leave a comment
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.
The apostles were fully aware they were seeing Jesus ascend into heaven. He was going to where He was before, and it was equally clear that He would be what He was before. In other words, Jesus would resume the full use of His divine powers, which were His by nature and by right. But the disciples did not have such a crude notion of heaven as to think Jesus’ being with the Father meant He would be confined to a specific and definite place. For in His state of exaltation, He would be present everywhere. He brings His blessing of forgiveness wherever and whenever His Word is truthfully preached and His Sacraments are rightly given.
How do we know the disciples really believed this? It is because of their reaction. Before, they had assumed the worst. They were defeatists. But now, they react as ‘seasoned’ veterans of the faith. And why not? They had a full 40 days under their belt after the resurrection. God can work miracles in 40 days, or 5 minutes.
“And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” The disciples rejoiced. They knew that Jesus’ triumph was their triumph. It is ours, as well. Our salvation and earthly sojourn, even our struggles, are all mapped out and secure in Christ.
Collect: 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.


Leave a Comment