The account of the Lord’s ascension and the significance of His ascension are recorded separately in the New Testament. For instance, Mark 16:19, which says “The Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God,” records only the ascension of Christ. In order to understand the significance of that ascension, we must continue to the Book of Acts and the Epistles.
In Acts 2, when Peter testified to the Jews regarding Jesus, he declared “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He has poured out this which you both see and hear…Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you have crucified.” (vv. 33, 36). The phrase having been exalted to the right hand of God corresponds with Mark 16:19 indicating the Lord’s ascension. Hence, according to Acts 2:33 and 36, Jesus was exalted and He was made both Lord and Christ in His ascension. Moreover, the word made in verse 36 can also mean “inaugurated.” Just as a ceremony is conducted in order to inaugurate a president into his office for the carrying out of his duties, so also the Lord Jesus’ ascension was His ”inauguration” into his heavenly office for the carrying out of God’s administration. Thus, Acts 2 indicates that aspects of the significance of the Lord’s ascension include His exaltation and His being made, inaugurated, Lord and Christ.
Hebrews 2:9 says, “We see Jesus, who was made a little inferior to the angels because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor…” Jesus was made a little inferior to the angels because he became a man and thus suffered death. Nevertheless, in His ascension, Jesus was crowned with glory and honor. Glory refers to the splendor of Jesus’ person, and honor to the preciousness of His position. In ascension, Jesus was crowned, and that crown testifies concerning His person and position, that is, all that He is and all that He has attained.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking away unto Jesus…who…has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.” In His ascension, the Lord Jesus sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. According to Revelation 3:21, and 22:1 and 3, both God and the Lamb are on the throne, and the throne of God and the throne of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus) are one. Since a throne is a place from which a king may rule and care for his kingdom, the fact that the Lord Jesus sat down on the throne, means that in His ascension, He was enthroned to rule and administrate God’s kingdom.
These three portions of Scripture reveal some crucial points regarding the Lord’s ascension and allow us to see what happened to the Lord in His ascension: He was made –(“inaugurated”) Lord and Christ, He was crowned with glory and honor, and He is now enthroned for God’s administration. While these may be objective points, a fresh realization of what the Lord attained and obtained in His ascension will make our contact with the Lord richer and fuller.
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