Ascension and second coming of Christ

In Acts 1,9, we are told, "And when he said that, he was quickly lifted, and a cloud took him away from their eyes." At the same time, a simple question arises: Why?

Why did Jesus ascend to heaven in this way?

Before returning to this question, let us turn to the following three verses: And while they were still looking at the vanishing Savior, two white-robed men appeared beside them: "Ye men of Galilee," they said, "what is it there and look to the sky? This Jesus, who was taken away to heaven by you, will come back as you saw him go to heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain, which is called Mount of Olives, and lies near Jerusalem, a sabbath-way away "(v. 10-12).

This passage is about two basic points - Jesus is going to heaven, and he will come again. Both are important in the Christian faith, and both are part of the Apostles' Creed. First of all, Jesus went up to heaven. This is commonly referred to as Christ's sky ride, a holiday that is celebrated annually on a Thursday 40 days after Easter.

Furthermore, this scripture points out that Jesus will return - he will return in the same way as he has ascended to heaven. In my opinion, this last point points to the very reason why Jesus visibly went to heaven for all - in this way it was emphasized that he will return to everyone equally visibly.

It would have been easy for him to let his disciples know that he would return to his father and return to earth one day - he would simply have disappeared, as he had on other occasions, but this time without being seen again , Another, theological reason for his visibly floating to heaven is unknown to me. He wanted to set a signal to his disciples and through them, to convey a specific message.

By vanishing visibly for all, Jesus made it clear that he would not be alone from the earth, but would sit at the right hand of his Father in heaven to stand for us as the eternal High Priest. As one author once put it, Jesus is "our man in heaven". In the kingdom of heaven we have someone who understands who we are, who knows our weaknesses and needs, because he is a human being himself. Even in heaven he is still human and god.

Even after his ascension, the Holy Scriptures call him a human being. When Paul preached to the Athenians on the Areopagus, he said that God would judge the world by a person appointed by him, and that he was Jesus Christ. And when he wrote Timothy, he spoke to him about man Christ Jesus. He is still a human and as such still bodily. From his body he rose from the dead and physically ascended to heaven. Which leads us to the question, where exactly is that body now? How can an omnipresent, neither spatially nor materially bounded God at the same time physically exist in a certain place?

Is the body of Jesus hovering somewhere in space? I dont know. I also do not know how Jesus could walk through closed doors or rise to the law of gravity in the air. Obviously, the physical laws do not apply to Jesus Christ. He is still physically existent, but he does not rests not those limits, which are common to the corporeality. This still does not answer the question of the local existence of the Body of Christ, but it may not be our greatest concern, is it?

We must know that Jesus is in heaven, but not where exactly. It is more important for us to know about the spiritual body of Christ, as Jesus is currently working on earth within the ecclesial community. And he does this through the Holy Spirit.

With his bodily resurrection, Jesus gave a visible sign that he would continue to exist as a human being as well as a god. We are therefore certain that, as a high priest, he has an understanding of our weaknesses, as it is called in Hebrews. With the ascension visible to all, one thing becomes clear: Jesus did not simply vanish - rather, as our high priest, advocate and mediator, he continues his ministry only in a different way.

Another reason

I see yet another reason why Jesus ascended to heaven physically and for all. According to John 16,7, Jesus said to his disciples: "It is good for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the comforter will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. "

I'm not sure why, but obviously, Jesus' Ascension had to be ahead of Pentecost. And when the disciples saw Jesus ascending to heaven, they were at once assured of the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.

Thus, there was no sadness, at least nothing is mentioned in Acts. One was not worried about the fact that the good old days spent with the physically present Jesus belonged to the past. The past common time was also not idealized. Rather, one looked with joy into the future, which promised to bring much more significant, as Jesus had promised.

If we follow the book of Acts, we read about an uproarious activity among the 120 brethren. They had come together to pray and plan the work ahead of them. They knew they had an assignment to fulfill, and

therefore, they chose an apostle to stand in Judas's place. They were known to have been 12 apostles on behalf of the new Israel whose reason God laid. They had met for a joint meeting; because there was quite a lot to decide.

Jesus had already instructed them to go as his witnesses throughout the world. They merely had to wait in Jerusalem, as Jesus had commanded them, until the granting of spiritual power, until the promised Comforter was received.

Thus Jesus' Ascension became like a dramatic drum roll, a moment of tension in anticipation of the initial spark that would catapult the apostles into ever-widening spheres of their ministry. As Jesus had promised them, they should accomplish even greater things by virtue of the Holy Spirit than the Lord Himself. And the visible ascension of Jesus to Jesus promised that more significant things would happen.

Jesus called the Holy Spirit "another Comforter" (Jn 14,16); in Greek there are now two different terms for "others". One designates something similar, the other something different; Jesus evidently meant something similar. The Holy Spirit is similar to Jesus. He represents a personal presence of God, not just one
supernatural power. The Holy Spirit lives, teaches and speaks; he makes decisions. He is a person, a divine person, and as such part of the one God.

The Holy Spirit is so similar to Jesus that we can say that Jesus lives in us, lives in the church community. Jesus said he would come and stay with the believers - indwell them - and he will do so in the form of the Holy Spirit. So Jesus went away, but he did not leave us to ourselves. He returns to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

But it will also be physical and visible to all, and I believe that this was the main reason for its ascension in the same shape. We should not suppose that Jesus was already here on earth in the form of the Holy Spirit and thus already returned, so that there is nothing more to expect than what we already have.

No, Jesus makes it clear that His return is nothing secret, invisible. It will be as clear as daylight, as clear as the rising of the sun. It will be visible to everyone as well as its Ascension was visible to everyone on the Mount of Olives almost 2000 years ago.

That makes us hope that we can expect more than what surrounds us now. At the moment we see a lot of weakness. We recognize our own weaknesses, those of our church and those of Christendom as a whole. We are certainly united by the hope that things will turn out for the better, and Christ assures us that he will in fact dramatically intervene to give the kingdom of God an impetus of unimaginable dimensions.

He will not leave things as they are. He will come back just as his disciples saw him vanishing into the sky - physical and visible to all. This includes even a detail that I would not even attach so much importance to: the clouds. The Bible promises that Jesus, as he was taken up by a cloud to heaven, will return again, carried by clouds. I do not know what a deeper meaning is inherent in them - they probably symbolize the angels appearing together with Christ, but they will also be seen in their original form. This point is certainly less important.

Central to this, however, is the dramatic return of Christ Himself. It will be accompanied by flashes of light, deafening sounds, and phenomenal appearances of the Sun and Moon, and anyone will be able to witness it. It will be indubitable. No one will be able to say that it took place at the place. When Christ returns, this event will be perceived everywhere, and it will not be questioned by anyone.

And when it comes to that, we, like Paul in the 1. Performing Thessalonians, the world caught up with Christ in the air. In this context we speak of the Rapture, which will not take place in secret, but will be visible to all in public; everyone will follow Christ's return to earth. And so we share in the Ascension of Jesus as well as in his crucifixion, entombment and resurrection. We too will ascend to heaven to meet the returning Lord, and then we too will return to earth.

Does it make a difference?

However, we do not know when all this will happen. Does it change anything with regard to our way of life? It should be so. In the 1. Corinthians letter and in 1. John's Letter we find practical explanations. That's the name of the 1. Epistle of John 3,2-3: "My dears, we are already the children of God; but it has not yet become clear what we will be. But we know that when it is revealed, we will be like him; because we will see him as he is. And every one who has such hope in him cleans himself, just as he is pure. "

Then John states that believers obey God; we do not want to live a sinful life. Our conviction that Jesus will return and we will be like Him has practical implications. It causes us to try to leave the sins behind. That, in turn, does not mean we will save our efforts or our misbehavior will ruin us; rather, it means that we seek not to sin.

The second biblical execution can be found in 1. Corinthians 15 at the end of the resurrection chapter. According to his statements concerning the return of Christ and our resurrection in immortality, Paul says in verse 58: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm, unshakeable, and always in the work of the Lord, knowing that your work will not be in vain is in the Lord. "

So before us lies work as before the first disciples. The mission given to them by Jesus at the time is also valid for us. We have a gospel, a message to announce; and we have the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill this mission. So there is work ahead of us. We do not need to wait idly in the air to wait for Jesus' return. Incidentally, we also do not need to look in the Scriptures for clues as to exactly when this will happen because the Bible clearly points out to us that it is not up to us to know. Instead, we have the promise that he will come again, and that should be enough for us. There is work ahead of us, and we should devote ourselves to the Lord's work with all our strength because we know that this work is not in vain.

by Michael Morrison


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