Mark 16:19-20 / Luke 24:50-53…
The gospels tell us of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ, but this is not the whole story. This is why there is a sequel, and the book of Acts expands the Ascension narrative and tells the story of the work of Christ in the world through His church, empowered by the Spirit.
The amazing point of the Ascension is that Jesus, as a resurrected and glorified human, is in heaven. If in the Incarnation deity entered into the human race, in the Ascension humanity (joined with deity in one person) entered into the realm of God. The implications of this for you and me are incredible.
Redemption was purchased but the work of proclamation and application of those benefits was now beginning. The Ascension of Jesus Christ was central to the initiation and continuation of this work. While Jesus intercedes for us in heaven (Romans 8:34 / Hebrews 7:25 / 1 John 2:1), the Holy Spirit intercedes in our hearts (Romans 8:26-27), enriching and equipping the church (Acts 2:33 / John 16:7-14 / Ephesians 4:8-12).
The Ascension also creates in our hearts a sense of expectation (Acts 1:11). Jesus is the eternal Son of God, and now also the perfected and glorified man. This was the eternal plan of God before creation. God determined to create human beings, enable them to triumph over evil, and exalt them to glory. This was done in Christ. This is the glory of Christianity.
In Christ we now have access into the heavenly realm by faith (Ephesians 3:11-12 / Hebrews 4:14-16). But the future is even greater. He is preparing a place for us (John 14:1-3), and we will have glorious new bodies, free from sin (Philippians 3:20-21). Because He ascended, so will we (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We will stand in the presence of God, complete and perfect (1 Corinthians 15:51-58). He is glorified, and we will be glorified, glory to His name!
The truth is that the work of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is continuing on. If you are in Christ, so will you (Philippians 1:6); forever, amen.