Event in which the risen Christ removed His visible presence from the soc. of men and passed into the heavens. The doctrine of the Ascension is based on Acts 1:112; Mk 16:19; Lk 24:4951 (which narrate the event); Jn 6:62; 20:17 (which look forward to it); Eph 4:810; 1 Ti 3:16; 1 Ptr 3:22; Heb 4:14 (which imply it). The Ascension is also implied in the references of Acts and the Epistles to Christ's being seated at the right hand of God (Acts 2:34; 5:31 RSV; 7:55, 56; Ro 8:34; Eph 1:20; Cl 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2). Throughout the apostolic age the Ascension is assumed as a fact among the other facts of Christ's life, as consistent with them, and as real.
The Ascension marks, for the Savior, the highest degree of exaltation, as it implies His session at the right hand of God, His entering into the full use, according to His human nature, of the divine attributes, of which He relinquished the full, continued, and unintermittent use and enjoyment during His State of Humiliation.
To the Christian the doctrine of the Ascension has manifold comforts. Faith and hope for the future of God's kingdom rest secure in the knowledge that Christ ascended and now is ever and everywhere present and governs and protects His church on earth. There is to be a redemption of our body (Ro 8:23); we shall bear the image of the heavenly (1 Co 15:49); there is a spiritual body (v. 44); our body shall be changed, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Ph 3:21); our mortal bodies are to be quickened (Ro 8:11). The future life is not to be one of pure spirit; it is to be clothed upon (2 Co 5:2). Best of all, we shall see Him as He is (1 Jn 3:2).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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