We celebrate Ascension Day

400 we celebrate christi himmelfahrt.jpgAscension Day is not one of the great festivals in the Christian calendar such as Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. We may underestimate the importance of this event. After the trauma of the crucifixion and the triumph of the resurrection, it seems secondary. That would be wrong. The resurrected Jesus did not simply stay 40 days and then returned to the safe realms of the heavens, as the work on earth was done. The resurrected Jesus is and will remain forever in his fullness as a human being and God in our service as our Advocate (1, Tim 2,5, 1, Joh 2,1).

Acts 1,9-12 tells of Ascension. After he had ascended to heaven, there were two men in white clothes with the disciples, who said: What are you standing there and look to the sky? He will come back the way you saw him go to heaven. That makes two things very clear. Jesus is in heaven, and he is coming back.

In Ephesians 2,6, Paul writes:
God raised us up and intervened in heaven in Christ Jesus. We have often heard "in Christ". Hereby our identity with Christ is made clear. We died with Him in Christ, buried and risen; but also with him in heaven.

In his book, The Message of Ephesians, John Stott commented: "Paul does not write about Christ, but about us. God has put us in Christ with Christ. The communion of God's people with Christ is the deciding factor ".

In Colossians 3,1-4 Paul emphasizes this truth:
"You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ, your life, will reveal himself, then you will also be revealed with him in glory. " "In Christ" means to live in two worlds: physical and spiritual. We can barely realize that now, but Paul says it's real. When Christ comes again, we will experience the fullness of our new identity. God does not want to leave us to ourselves (Joh 14,18), but in communion with Christ he wants to share everything with us.

God has united us with Christ and so we can be included in the relationship that Christ has with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In Christ, the Son of God for ever, we are beloved children of His pleasure. We celebrate Ascension Day. This is a good time to remember this good news.

by Joseph Tkach

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