February 22, 2010

Chapter 10 The Ascension

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father...

1.  The ascension infuses history and our lives with heavenly direction, eternal purpose, and meaning.  We can only have a meaningful future because God rules it from heaven.
2.  The Latin phrase  anno Domini (AD) means "in the year of our Lord."
3.  The ascension of Christ is linked to the great commission that is given to the church. All authority belongs to Christ and our mission to carry out here on earth His commands extends from that authority.  Matt: 28:18-20
4.  The ascension is about Christ's enthronement as King.  He returns to glory triumphant!  He receives the seat at the right hand of the Father in recognition of his conquering of sin & death forever.
5.  Daniel 7:13-14 prophesy of the ascension of Christ and His enthronement as King.  "... His kingdom the one that shall not be destroyed."
6/7.  Psalm 110:1-6 speaks of Christ reigning as our Priest/King, "... according to the order of Melchizedek."  Both Priest and King of the city of peace.
8.  Christ's rule is best expressed by His church (or it should be).  We receive our authority to act here on earth from Jesus.  By His command we are to teach His words and make disciples for Him.
9.  Psalm 68 is a victory hymn composed by David, but Paul uses it to illustrate how Christ accomplished redemption and now gives gifts to us.  Christ's victorious ascension can be seen in Psalm 68.
10.  When the author states 'Jesus is the greater David', I believe he refers to Jesus conquering the last enemy of God's people - death.  He reigns as the perfect King - victorious.  David was a foreshadow of Christ.
11.  The ascension requires that we look heaven-ward while being active for our King here on earth.  We must be working diligently to be an influence for Christ in this world.  His light reflected in our lives in this dark world.
12.  The ascension focuses us on Christ above - not ourselves, therefore we can't hold on to our natural selfishness and self-centeredness if we are truly focusing on Christ.  It isn't about us - it IS about Him.
13. Verses:
  Acts 1:1-11  In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"  He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But 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." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? 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."
1 John 2:28   And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.