Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
Christ was raised from the dead.
His life, death, and resurrection are historical facts corroborated by numerous sources outside of the Bible and were seen by many eyewitnesses. After Christ was raised from the dead, he spent forty days among the people to mainly demonstrate that he was alive. He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond a doubt that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. The Apostle Paul wrote that “he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Then he Ascended!
It is at the ascension that God exalted Jesus and gave him the name that is above every name (Philippians 2:9). Hebrews tells us, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God […] let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:14–16).
The resurrection was Christ’s triumph over sin and death and the ruler of this world (Satan). The ascension seated him upon the throne of David (2 Samuel 7), the throne that was promised to Jesus by his Father before the world began.
How does Christ’s ascension into heaven benefit us now? Jesus is our advocate before the Father, and he is complete humanity in the presence of God. As a result of the ascension, the Son sends the promised Holy Spirit to his people (Pentecost).
We worship and love a man we’ve never seen. Peter wrote to the churches in Asia Minor, “Though you have not seen him, you love him” (1 Peter 1:8). The ascension created the tension that Christians on earth have experienced for almost two millennia: present in the body and absent from the Lord.
It began at Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came to start liberating the nations. Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
It continues to this day in heaven, where Christ stands in the presence of God on our behalf. Our eternal redemption was secured—not simply by Jesus dying on the cross—but through Jesus entering heaven by means of the cross.
The profound reality is a human, though being God, sits on heaven’s throne.