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Ascension of Christ

By George G. Findlay

      "Our Lord ascended as the Son of God returning to His proper place," writes George Findlay. Jesus told Mary Magdalene, "Tell My brethren, I ascend unto My Father."

      The ascent of Jesus is a final seal put upon His divinity; it consummates the resurrection, by which He was "declared to be the Son of God with power." It is the resurrection finished, as the incarnation of the eternal Son was, in a sense, His death begun. "What," He said once to His questioners, "if you should see the Son of man ascending up where He was before," would you still doubt His origin and challenge His authority? The mode of His exit certifies that He bore a supernatural life and was here upon a heavenly errand. He entered this world as never man did; he lived and spoke and wrought in it as never man did; He died, and rose again, as never man did; and He took His departure as no mere son of man ever did or could have done,--He who was "separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."

      How quiet and calm, in the deepest sense of the word how natural, the account of His departure which is given by another of the Evangelists. To the witnesses it must have seemed quite beautiful and in the fitting order of things that Jesus should thus part from them. . . He breaks the chains of sense as naturally as he had burst the bands of death, for in neither case "was it possible that He should be holden of it" longer than He chose. . . By the same law He gravitates upward--the heavenly heavenwards, the Divine to the Divine. . . . as the son sets his face homewards when evening comes and the day's task is over, so Jesus goes back to His native sphere. "Now, Father," He cries, "I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do; and I come to Thee." The Son of God returns to the Father's house ("The Ascension of Jesus," Great Sermons on the Resurrection of Christ, compiled by Wilbur Smith, pp. 185-186).

      And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).

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