So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
– Mark 16:19
In Acts 1:9-11, St. Luke tells us this about that stupendous moment of Christ’s ascension into heaven: “…as they were watching, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. While He was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.’”
The Lord’s ascension into Heaven and His sitting at the right hand of the Father is the sixth article of faith confessed in our Creed. Our Lord’s ascension is one of the actions by which Jesus redeems us from sin and gives us the new life of grace. Our Lord’s going up into heaven is not simply something which stirs us to lift up our hearts; along with the other mysteries of His life, death and resurrection,
Christ’s ascension saves us. Jesus Christ went up into Heaven body and soul, to take possession of the Kingdom He won through His death, to prepare for us a place in Heaven and to send the Holy Spirit to His Church. Christ ascended not only as God, but also as man, taking eternal possession of Heaven.
However, “This Jesus…will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.’” We know for a certainty that Christ will come again at the end of time. We also confess this in the Creed as part of our faith. But, we know neither the day nor the hour of His coming. We do not need to know it. Christ is always imminent, and we must always be on the watch, that is, we should busy ourselves in the service of God and of others, which is where our sanctification lies.
My Lord, my Jesus, my Saviour,
my resurrected Christ, my God,