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Dear COA Family,

Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Hebrews 7:26

This Sunday we celebrate Ascension Sunday which is the day that Jesus ascended physically into heaven forty days after his resurrection, according to the accounts of Luke and Acts.

Yet, though it is one of the nine Principal Feast Days of the church, it is not as recognised as Christmas Day or Easter Sunday, which is unfortunate and sad.

The ascension of Christ is part of God’s complete will for His Son Jesus as well as his saving act for all of us lost sinners in the world. It is the completion or crowning of the sacrifice and exaltation of Jesus Christ. This means that God’s salvation will not be complete without Christ’s ascension!

Why is that so?

God’s physical “taking up” of Christ serves at least three purposes.

Firstly, it is his vindication that he is accomplishing God’s will and has completed all that God has intended for him to do. This is why God is receiving him back up into heaven to receive the name which is above every other name (Phil 2:9-11). Everyone who has persecuted and opposed him will have to bow down at his feet.

Secondly, it is to distribute heavenly gifts to us. In the ancient times, the victorious kings often brought back spoils from their conquest to give to their people. Jesus’ ascension is his completion of victory over his enemies. As a result, he gives us gifts in the church to build us up (Eph 4:7-13).

Thirdly, it is to signal and confirm what we can be in the life to come. As Jesus is crowned ruler by God, we will all rule with Christ one day as we continue to trust in Him and be faithful here on earth. He will one day bring “many sons and daughters to glory” as he is also crowned with glory and honour at the right hand of the Father now (Heb 2:9-10).

May we rejoice today at the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ who is “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” and therefore fulfils our every need (Heb 7:26).

Let us also look forward with hope to our future as Christ is at the right hand of the Father ruling and reigning until all things are subject to Him!

Revd Ian