Ascension Day is when we commemorate our Lord Jesus leaving this earth to enter into heaven. It is a neglected observance in the lives of many Christians. Really, it has become an ordinary day in the lives of so many Christ followers. Perhaps we don’t understand its significance, or maybe we’ve become so busy that we just don’t have time to focus on what happened on the Mount of Olives that spectacular day.
Christ’s ascension into heaven occurred 40 days after his resurrection—that’s why we celebrate it 40 days after Easter. Though it never falls on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day following Ascension Day is designated as Ascension Sunday. It is certainly one of the important events in the life of Christ, and it points to Jesus ‘promised second coming.
Here’s how it happened:
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (Acts 1:6–11, NLT)
Notice, “someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Just as he ascended, so he will descend and return to the earth.
The author, Frances Havergal, wrote this Ascension Day hymn especially for a group of children while visiting their school. It is said that she wrote it in only ten minutes, but I think it describes the ascension so well. I wonder, would you take a few moments this Thursday, May 25, to read it and praise God for what Jesus had done on this earth and now does for us in heaven (Hebrews 9:11–28)?
“Golden Harps Are Sounding”
Golden harps are sounding, angel voices ring, pearly gates are opened, opened for the King: Christ, the King of glory, Jesus, King of love, is gone up in triumph to His throne above.
He who came to save us, He who bled and died, now is crowned with glory at His Father’s side: Never more to suffer, never more to die, Jesus, King of glory, is gone up on high.
Praying for His children in that blessed place, calling them to glory, sending them His grace: His bright home preparing, faithful ones, for you; Jesus ever liveth, ever loveth too.
Refrain: All His work is ended, joyfully we sing; Jesus hath ascended—Glory to our King!
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.