Ascension The Hinge to Eternity
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but the Messiah's ascension determines its finale. However, the ascension is often overlooked. Yet, it is a key moment in the good-news story and a crucial hinge for Christ's threefold work as prophet, priest and king.”
The Ascension of Christ, Recovering a Neglected Doctrine - Patrick Schreiner
Just imagine living in the first century and listening to the first of John's Epistles being read aloud and hearing these words:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we've seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled concerning the Word of Life'”
(1 John 1:1).
These words not only present a convincing argument of the risen Christ, but also deliver a revelation of truth that only the fool would attempt to refute.
One thing that John and the other disciples witnessed was Jesus ascending into the clouds as recorded in Acts 1:9. The significance of this moment is a hinge for everyone who calls themselves a believer in Christ. By “hinge'' I am referring to the hinges that are placed in the proper location on a door and the frame. As they come together with a hinge pin, the door is able to move. This is why the Ascension matters so deeply. It is like a hinge that opens the door for the greater truth of Christ to be revealed.
Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended into the clouds and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. The number 40 is significant for a few reasons:
1.) Forty years is how long it took Israel to get to the promised land.
2.) Moses was twice on Mt Sinai for 40 days (Exodus 24:18 & 34:1-28).
3.) Forty days is how long Jesus was in the desert (Matthew 4, Mark 1 & Luke 4).
Interestingly enough, the number 40 is mentioned 146 times in Scripture, and generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial, and probation. Was this what Jesus was doing during the 40 days while He was here between the resurrection and ascension? We see a small piece of that in the Emmaus Road story in Luke 24 and in the story of the disciples fishing in John 21. In each section of scripture, you can see glimpses of what the disciples are going through. They were questioning what had happened and deeply confused on what to do next.
Yet, there was Jesus, meeting them right where they were and revealing Himself to them. In each of these stories, they were encouraged, empowered, and filled with faith, which deepened their allegiance to Jesus.
Today May 26th is Ascension day. As we remember, celebrate, teach others, and most importantly live with this in mind, that because of the hinge of Christ's ascension, we have our greatest advocate and one and only priest and forever king who is enthroned at the right hand of the Almighty God! That is the door to eternal life!
Photo Credit: Ascension, Ivanka Demchuk | Website https://en.ivankademchuk.com/