It jump-starts our new life in Christ—we can renew our minds and hearts by thinking on it.
In the States of Christ series, here is the diagram outlining his states:
If you need a quick explanation of the entire image, please click on this link:
The ascension is on the right, as the arrow sweeps upward.
Let’s again begin with a formal definition on the significance of Christ’s ascension:
The event of the ascension is an announcement: the annunciation of Christ’s final and perfect glorification and of the inauguration of the dispensation of his heaven session (EDT, p. 87). (See more on Christ’s session in this series, below.)
Then the article highlights Christ’s three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.
That definition is minimal, but it says the ascension inaugurates Christ’s session or being seated on his throne.
Let’s find out what is the significance of his ascension to us.
If you would like to see the following verses in many translations and in their contexts, please go to biblegateway.com.
1.. His ascension secures our heavenly position.
While we live on earth, we are in the heavenly realm by faith and in part, not in fulness, as we will be when we are resurrected:
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
As written, that promise and truth is remarkable. Let’s accept it into our minds and hearts right now.
The next verse (Col. 3:1) goes with that one, above.
2.. It means we set our hearts on things above.
One very important practice in the Christian life is renewing our minds.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)
Those two verses are remarkable (Eph. 2:6 and Col. 3:1). We are raised up with Christ, and now we set our hearts on him. We do not fight from a weakened position or point of view. We fight from his position in the heavenly realm. Confess and meditate on him and our heavenly position.
3.. It grants us our citizenship is in heaven right now.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20)
That verse does not say our citizenship will one day be in heaven in the future. Rather the present tense “is” indicates our citizenship is there now. Our place in heaven is secure, thanks to Christ’s ascension.
And John 14:2-4 says he goes to prepare a place for us:
2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going. (John 14:2-4)
4.. It means our bodies will be like his glorious body.
21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Phil. 3:21)
The verse in this point and the previous one (Phil. 3:20-21) teach us that Christ has power to bring everything under his control—a process that is happening gradually and sometimes imperceptibly right now. That power will transform our bodies, but that transformation won’t be gradual, but will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52).
5.. It teaches us that he will return again in the same way he left.
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)
6.. It means we have a sympathetic high priest and through him we can ascend to the throne with confidence:
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
7.. It teaches us that Jesus went into a heavenly tabernacle.
Jesus the high priest entered the heavenly tabernacle, where he makes intercession for us (Heb. 7:25):
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. … 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Heb. 9:11-12, 24, ESV)
Verse 24 says he is up there on our behalf or for our benefit. Some Bible interpreters say that he sprinkled his blood on the altar in the tabernacle, to effect, once and for all, the sacrifice he did on the cross.
So, how do we get to know Jesus more intimately?
Christ has risen and ascended into heaven. He grants us authority to be with him in the heavenly places, in part, if not with our physical bodies, then with his name here on earth. Our position in heaven is secure right now. We can ascend to the throne of grace with confidence, knowing God hears us because of Christ’s ascension and his high priestly ministry.
ARTICLES IN “DO I REALLY KNOW JESUS?” SERIES
16. Do I Really Know Jesus? His Ascension Means Everything