The final act Of Jesus wall in his physical body, Yeah. Is to leave this earth. He doesn’t leave it the way you and I will. You and I, we will leave this earth with our body in the grave. Yeah. We will depart from this life much the same way that Jesus described in the account of uh, the rich man and Lazarus where if we are faithful,
Lazarus would die And would be carried away into as, as the term there is used Abraham’s bosom, a place for those who are faithful to await the judgment. Jesus, that didn’t happen. Jesus went to the grave And by all indications, Jesus went into, as we understand it, to the limitation of, of revelation and what we can know went into the Hadean realm for a period of three days.
But then when that time ended, he didn’t stay there. He Rose, he came out of the grave. He defeated death because there was no way that he could be held by death. If you turn over to first Corinthians chapter 15, You read a statement In first Corinthians chapter 15. I’m not actually going to go over there and we’re going to read it together.
First Corinthians chapter 15, let’s begin around verse, uh, I think verse 50. Yeah. Now this, I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery that is something that had not previously been revealed, but now is being revealed by the spirit. We shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed in a moment. In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality,
then shall be brought, shall be brought to pass. The saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. Oh, death. Where is your sting? Oh, Haiti’s where your victory. The sting. And notice this, the sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. That if you spend some time over in Romans chapter four,
you will read Romans three in Romans four you will read about the law and its function in condemning sin. But notice this idea, the sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. Now, what is it that Jesus kept perfectly while he was on this earth? The law, if the strength of sin is the law, I E.
God through the law gives the law, but when you transgress it, it condemns you and therefore it describes your sin, hold you accountable to that sin and makes you amenable to death. When Jesus died, Jesus went into Haiti’s and as it were, they they, and again, I’m giving you a visual representation, a picture. If you could imagine in your mind,
in Haiti’s there, they’re looking through the law of the commandments of God. Uh, what wrong did you do? They’d be in the same predicament as pilot. They’d be able to find none. They’d be in the same predicament as Herod. They, they would look for some something that he did wrong. Nope. Nothing here. The bondage of, of the law,
the condemnation of the law didn’t apply to Christ because he never violated the law. There was nothing to hold him to death And three days later He came back three days later, just as he had prophesied, he arose because death couldn’t hold him. And Hebrews chapter two says he defeated the one who had the power of death, which is Satan. So he arises.
He is seen by many. This is something you all talked about on Wednesday and last Sunday and and many witness his presence and his appearance. All of these things occur and now a period of 40 days later and he is going to ascend to the father. Turn to Luke chapter 24 Luke chapter 24 We read in verse 50 and he led them as far as Bethany and he lifted up his eyes or lifted up his hands and bless them.
What’s the idea there of the blessing? What’s that mean? It usually indicates praying. A prayer of blessing is normally what it indicates. So he lifts up his hands and he blessed them. Now it came to pass while he blessed them that he was parted from them and carried up in the heaven. What other individuals do we read about in scripture that are carried into heaven?
Elijah, uh, we were not given a description of how Anik departed this earth. We’re just told that he, he was, he was not, uh, but Alijah we know through Alicia’s accounting of it, through and through the record of it that Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire. Again, a visual representation, uh, something, the physical manifestation of a spiritual occurrence.
But, but Elijah departs from this earth. He is taken up. Jesus. Here is he is by all indications, standing there praying, blessing them just begins to arise. He goes up in the heaven. Now is the Bible trying to tell us that earth is down here and heaven is in outer space? No. In the exact same way that the Bible is not trying to tell us that hell is somehow underneath the ground.
Okay. We live in a physical world with physical language and physical limitations and physical representations. And so God often do, describes to us spiritual concepts in physical terms so that we can comprehend them. Christ goes up, he ascends out of their sight. The clouds make it to where they can no longer see him. We’ll get to that in a minute,
but the idea and the representation is he ascends and he will come back. But it’s not a declaration that heaven Is in the out is as outer space or in the stars. That’s not the idea. Okay? We should be careful that we don’t draw unnecessary conclusions based upon what the scripture does say. Okay. Did Jesus ascend? Yes, he did.
He ascend off of this earth and was he, was he one who ascended with the clouds? Yes, he did. But we shouldn’t draw unnecessary conclusions from that. Like many skeptics try to do And claim that the Bible thinks that, uh, or Bible claims that, that heaven is somewhere in outer space. Okay. Um, that’s just kind of a side note.
They worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. The disciples are going to go back to Jerusalem. Why are they going to go back to Jerusalem? Aren’t they mostly from Galilee?<inaudible> Okay. If you will notice back in verse 46 then he said to them, thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from dead the third day and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.
We’ll have further discussion of this in acts chapter one and you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the promise of my father upon you, but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are in dude with power from on high, they are going to return to Jerusalem and they are going to stay there because that’s what Jesus told them to do.
That is the urine. That is their instruction. So they, this was something that I don’t, again, you think through things you’ve learned in, in, in your time, in school, and you can think through things you’ve learned in Bible classes and sermons. And I guess for some reason I had always missed the point where they came to Passover.
Jesus was was put to death. He was resurrected and I don’t know why, but I always missed in my head the part where they went back to Galilee. Okay? But they did. They went back to Galilee. They didn’t stay for the full 40 days there in Jerusalem. They went back to Galilee. Jesus met them in Galilee. As a matter of fact,
it is on the sea of Galilee where Jesus will meet them as they’re out on the water. So all of those things happen in Galilee. Now they’ve come back to Jerusalem. Now why would they be back at Jerusalem? Jesus is of course going to ascend from Mount olive it and Jesus is going to be there in Bethany when that occurs. But is there something that’s about to happen in Jerusalem that would bring Jews back to Jerusalem?<inaudible> Pentecost 50 days from the feast of Passover.
Seven Sabbaths plus one Was the feast of Pentecost. And so many Jews are back in Jerusalem from the region getting ready for the feast of, and many Jews who had, who lived outside of the area of Palestine are still in Jerusalem because of Pentecost, because the law prescribed that they come to Jerusalem for and they come to the temple for three feasts throughout the year.
So oftentimes what many would do is they’d travel in for Passover and instead of traveling all the way back home, which may have been days, weeks, or months of journeying, they would stay for around 50 days a little more than that actually. And they would stay in Jerusalem during that intervening time so that they could cover two feasts with one trip. And so that’s what would occur quite often.
So they are coming back into Jerusalem, they’re in Jerusalem, they go out to Bethany, then they go to Mount all of it. And he ascends from there. Now They worshiped him, returning to the, to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple praising God or praising. And blessing God. And Luke concludes his first letter, his first gospel account with amen.
Now, I would say first his gospel account. Yeah, But he’s not done. It’s one of the things that I really wish there were some way to, to jigger around and put John on the front end of Luke and Luke right up to the book of acts so that when you, as you’re reading through scripture, you get through Luke and you just start acts because it’s a continuation.
It’s part two. This is saga chapter two, uh, of the account of Christ because Luke’s not done, Luke’s going to describe Christ’s life and he’s going to end with his Ascension, but he’s not done. As a matter of fact, he’s going to pick up at this exact same point in the book of acts and rehearse and even give further detail on this same event.
Let’s go over to Mark chapter 16 and we’ll grumble a little bit of detail for Mark’s account. Uh, while we’re there. Mark chapter 16, verse 19. So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God and they went out and preached everywhere. The Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.
Amen. Now Mark gives an account of what they would do after that point, but he’s not referencing the next 10 days. He’s talking about that forward all the way up until the time that he’s writing this. He’s talking about the work of the apostles throughout the beginning of the church. Okay? They would go out and they would preach everywhere. Well,
we know that didn’t happen immediately. That didn’t happen in the next 10 days. They didn’t. They didn’t preach anywhere in the next 10 days until the day of Pentecost. And so this description here is looking much farther forward than Luke’s, but Mark gives us a detailed Luke doesn’t. Luke describes Jesus. Ascending. Mark tells us where to Mark says that he ascended to where Ahead.
Right hand of God. He ascended to heaven. He ascended to the right hand of of God. And there he sat down. What’s implied by the idea that he sat down. It was reserved for him. It was his place. You remember when the mother of James and John came to Jesus and said, when you come into your kingdom, what?
What did, what did she want A place for her sons? One on the left hand and one on the right. She, she said, w we will you reserve these two spots for my sons. Jesus ascended into heaven and his spot was waiting. You’ve pulled into a parking lot before and you’ve seen that spot closest to the door that said, reserved for employee of the month.
Wow. You don’t get to park there, not your spot. You go park somewhere else. That spot may be empty all day long. The employee of the month may not be working today, but that spot is going to be open Because it’s reserved for them. While Jesus was here on this earth who was at the right hand of God, No one.
It was reserved for him. He didn’t have to come win back his seat. There was no fight, no contest to see who would sit in his spot. It was reserved for him so he ascends back to the father. There’s a few passages that I want us to note in that regard. Turn to Hebrews chapter four. Hebrews chapter four beginning of verse 12 for the word of God is living and powerful,
sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart and there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of whom or to the eyes of him, to whom we must give account. Seeing them that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the son of God. Let us hold fast our confession for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all point tempted as we are yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. What function does Jesus serve in his position at the right hand of God?
High priest. That is one of his functions in that position is to serve as our mediator, as our go between our high priest. Turn to Ephesians chapter one Verse 18 that the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling. What are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints? And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us?
Who believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him to be head over all things to the church,
which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. So the second function that Christ serves in here in this position is ruler or King. But in addition to ruler or King, head of the church, The church on this earth has no head. The church on this earth has no human being who stands as the head of the body of Christ.
For all that would accomplish is a body with two heads And we don’t have need of that In spite of all of the claims of all of the traditions over all of history, all of the history of the Catholic church, that the Pope is the person of Christ on earth. He’s not. Christ is the head. Christ is the one who holds that position and he’s given it over to no one.
He will give the apostles authority over many things, but you know what? He will tell them what you will decide on earth, what you will bind on earth. What you will lose on earth has already been loosed or bound in heaven. They didn’t have any authority that wasn’t delegated. They didn’t have any authority of their own. They only have the authority that the spirit would work through them.
Christ is the head and he’s the head because he seated at the right hand of God. Turn also to first Peter chapter three Verse 21 says, there is also an antique type. He’s talking about Noah. He’s talking about the flood. He’s talking about those who were saved in the flood by their obedience to God. He says there is also an anti type which now saves us baptism,
not the removal of the filth of the flesh, not, not not the washing of the physical body to remove physical dirt and grime, but the answer of a good conscience toward God. By the way, there’s a great description here. This, this is a side point, but there’s a great description here about the difference between baptizing someone who’s not mentally Submitting to God and repenting of their sins and truly confessing Christ in the sense of bowing down their lives.
To him, the person who’s buried in water and whose conscience isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do in that act gets purely the washing of the body. They might go down in the water, but they’re not being baptized because until the conscience is cleanse that water does nothing. We can baptize. Good example. Babies all day long. What good does it do?
Um, do, can they provide the answer of a good conscience? No, they can’t. How about unbelievers? I mean, we could go out there and through force or, or, or might or whatever. We could take a bunch of unbelievers and we could force them down into water and baptize them. What good would we do? None. There’s no of a good conscience.
I have a question. My mother had a miscarriage. The blood differences between my mother and father was the third baby. And it wasn’t even long term pregnancy. And I’ve often prayed that that baby’s soul would be in heaven. But everything we know from scripture, uh, any child or any, any baby that’s not of an age of accountability, can’t know the difference between right and wrong is safe and will be in heaven.
Uh, w when this life is over. Absolutely. So here we have this statement connecting baptism, but notice connecting baptism through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There’s the, the final function of baptism to connect you with the death, the burial, and the resurrection who has gone into heaven and is set air, excuse me, is at the right hand of God.
Angels and authorities and powers have been made subject to him. So there’s power, there’s rule, there’s priesthood, there’s a 40 there’s the head of the church. All of these things in scripture are directly tied to his Ascension, to his return to the father. If it were the case in Matthew chapter four that Satan tempted, Jesus Ruling the world says,
you bow down to me and I’ll give you all of these nations. If Jesus had taken him up on that, Would there have been any salvation? Would there have been any mediator? Would there been any high priest? No. It is only through his willingness to endure as he says in the garden. That cup, that suffering to go to the grave,
to ascend or to rise again the third day and then to ascend to the father that this could be accomplished. Okay? Now acts chapter one, acts chapter one and in verse one the former account I made oath the awfulness of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which he was taken up after he, through the Holy spirit,
had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen, to whom he also presented himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs being seen by them during 40 days. And speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God and being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the father, which he said,
you have heard from me. If you go back to John chapter 15 you’ll read about that promise that he gave them. That is the coming of the Holy spirit for John truly baptized with water, but you should be baptized. You shall be baptized with the Holy spirit not many days from now. Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him saying,
Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? We’re reminded that their understanding is still incomplete concerning the kingdom, but Jesus said it was. Jesus said, there’s many things that I have yet to tell you, but you’re not ready for them. Jesus said that he would send the Holy spirit who would guide them into all truth. Well,
if they’re being guided into all truth, what do they not currently have all truth. He also said that he will remind you of everything that I’ve said so they would have an opportunity to go back and remember all of those things that they had been taught that they did not understand at the time. But notice he says, he says, it is not for you to know the times or seasons which the father has put in his own authority,
but you shall receive power when the Holy spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. Now when he had spoken these things while they watched, he was taken up and a cloud received him out of their sight and while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up,
behold two men stood by them in white apparel who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven. So Luke gives a fuller description of this event as he writes this second letter to Theopolis that he might understand the the depth of what’s going on,
but also connects the statements of Christ at his Ascension to the rest of what he’s going to write. Acts chapter one in these verses, you have Jesus’s statement to remain in Jerusalem that they would receive the power from the Holy spirit. And then quite literally in Jesus’s statement, you have the outline of the book of acts. You’ve got the events that would take place in Jerusalem,
the events that would take place in some area, and the events that would take place in the rest of the earth by way of the gospel going out and being taught, being preached. So we have here the remainder of the information we have concerning the Ascension and concerning what would occur. We’ve got the clowns being mentioned here. We’ve got the, uh,
the two individuals who address the disciples. By all indications. These are angels. Um, they’re, they’re men who appear in white garments. That’s a pretty clear description throughout scripture of these Rangels. Uh, but it’s also clear they’re functioning as angels because what is an angel? What does the word mean? Messenger. And their message is, wait, why are you staring up in the sky for,
Yeah, What are you doing? Yep. He’ll come back, He’ll come back as he left, but you’re gonna be doing something else. This is God pushing them into, don’t stay in here waiting for him to come back. Go do what he said. Yeah, Go do what he commanded you to do. And, and initiating that, uh,
that same thing that they, they were to be about their, uh, the, the commandments that he had given. Let’s go through a few of the questions. We’ve got a little bit of extra time. We may spend some time in a couple other passages if we have a few moments. Question one, what was Jesus doing when he went up to heaven?
Blessing his disciples, Blessing the disciples? How did Jesus go up to heaven? She Rose up, Okay. It was carried up or Rose up. Where did Jesus’ disciples worship while waiting in Jerusalem in the temple as Jesus ascended, what blocked him from their view? Wow. A cloud. And where did Jesus go? It’d be with his father in heaven.
Okay. He sat, I think the answer we’re looking for here for the Bible is he sat down with the right hand of God. Okay. Um, by way of the passage there, who did God send to reassure the disciples when Jesus ascended<inaudible> Two men, how were they dressed in white apparel according to the heavenly messengers who appeared to the disciples after?
All right. This was a, this was a typo. These two things shouldn’t be on two separate lines, and that question Mark should be a comma. Okay. This is the way it should read. According to the heavenly messengers who appeared to the disciples after Jesus ascended comma, how will he return? Wow. As in like manner as you saw him go,
what town did the disciples go to after Jesus ascended Jerusalem and what were the feelings of the disciples? Great, Great joy. There’s a stark contrast between their emotional state when Jesus was put on the cross and was put in the grave and their emotional state. When Jesus ascends into heaven, one, they’re destitute. They’re there, they’re in despair. They’re without hope.
They think all is lost because they’re separated from him. But the second time, no such attitude, they proceed forth with great joy even though they’re separated from him because they’re not. They know, not all is lost, but instead all will be fulfilled. I want to go to one other passage very quickly as we, as we conclude, Matthew chapter 22 Matthew chapter 22 beginning in verse 42 Actually verse 41 while the Pharisees were gathered together,
Jesus asked them saying, what do you think about the Christ, the Messiah, the the old Testament prophesied Christ. What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? They said to him, the son of David. He said to them, how then does David in the spirit call him Lord, saying, the Lord said to my Lord,
sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool. If David then calls him, Lord, how is he his son? And no one was able to answer him a word nor from that day did anyone dare question him anymore. Jesus gives a description in a prophecy from David about his Ascension, his taking his place at the right hand of God.
The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand. Now, not only does this passage all by itself defeat the Jehovah’s witness doctrine, that there’s only one in the Godhead and not free because if so, who’s talking to who? The Lord said to my Lord, there’s two there, not one, but in addition to that, you see a description of what happens after he sits down.
What did David say? The Lord said, the his Lord to come sit down until, Until I make your enemies your footstool. God says there’s a battle going on and we’re supposed to be fighting it. We’re supposed to be fighting a spiritual battle against the enemies of Christ and we’re to do it with the sword of the spirit. We’re to do it with armor of God,
where to be ready to fight and we are to fight with word of God that we might be part of that very prophecy the pudding down of the enemies of Christ through the bringing obedience to the gospel of Christ. In Ephesians chapter two we’re told that those who haven’t believed and been obedient to God are his enemies. But guess what? They are? When they become obedient,
his sons, we are to be those who are taking the Ascension of Christ very seriously. For it is his Ascension to power, to mite, to majesty, and to being a mediator between us. And God.