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The Gospel Of Luke An Exposition by Charles R. Erdman

O. The Ascension. Ch. 24:50-53

50 And he led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 and were continually in the temple, blessing God.

The ascension of our Lord was an event quite distinct from the resurrection; it occurred nearly six weeks later, and indicates a number of supremely important truths.

1. Jesus then withdrew from the sphere of the seen and physical to the sphere of the unseen and spiritual. He did not pass up or down through vast spaces of the skies. We are not to think of him as far away. He is an unseen, divine Presence, superior to the limitations of time and space, and capable of being manifest in any period or place. The ascension should make us feel that Jesus is near rather than far away.

2. Jesus then assumed universal power; not at the time of his resurrection, but at the time of his ascension, he was seated |on the right hand of the Majesty on high.| This indicates divine omnipotence. It is the continual representation of the New Testament that Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth. The ascension should therefore remind us of the limitless power of Christ.

3. It was therefore at the time of the ascension that Jesus entered |into his glory.| Then it was that his body was transformed, made deathless, |spiritual,| celestial, immortal; and then he again began to share the divine glory which he had with the Father |before the world was.| The ascension, therefore, is a pledge and type of the glory which yet awaits his followers. It is an assurance that he yet will fulfill his promises and will again appear; emerging from the sphere of the unseen he will be manifested to all mankind as both the ideal Man and as the Saviour of the world.

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