ASCENSION – ASCENSION DAY
LESSON: MARK 16:14-20
Then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19
We must regard the ascension of Christ as an efficacious, powerful act which is in continuous and ceaseless operation. We must not just imagine that Christ has ascended into heaven and left us here on earth to be ruled in other ways. On the contrary, He has ascended into heaven because He can achieve most and rule most effectively by that act.
If He had remained visibly here on earth among men, He could never have achieved as much. Not all people would then have been able to be with Him to hear Him. He had to make a start on having to deal with all men, ruling all men, preaching to all men, so that all might hear Him and that He might be with all men.
Take care, therefore, that you do not form the idea that Christ is now far away from you. The contrary is true. When He was on earth, He was far away from us; since His ascension, He is very close to us.
Reason, of course, cannot understand this, so the ascension is an article of faith. Here one must close the eyes to reason and grasp matters by faith. God’s Word tells us that the man Christ Jesus ascended visibly into heaven where He now sits at God’s right hand and governs all things.
SL 11:940 (24-25)
PRAYER: Christ our Savior ascended visibly into heaven from where He now rules and governs all things. Make us aware of the full import of this mighty act of our Savior, heavenly Father, so that we look more confidently to Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 3:180-194.