This is our eighteenth lesson in a series of lessons that will examine the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In this lesson we will understand the purpose of our Lord's Ascension, namely how in ascending Heaven was open to us and human nature was thereafter able to enter into Heaven. We will understand that our Lord truly and really ascended and see evidence of His Ascension still left on this earth.
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by Rembrandt, 1636
Psalms 46: 6
Alleluia, alleluia. V.: God is ascended with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Alleluia. V.: (Ps. 67. 18). The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high He hath led captivity captive.
Ascension Thursday in the liturgical year marks the 40th day after Easter Sunday and the day we celebrate Our Lord's Glorious Ascension into Heaven. The Ascension has three principal parts: the departure of Jesus from earth, His going up into heaven, and taking His place at the right hand of the Father. To begin, let us again meditate on the Sacred Account of Our Lord’s Ascension:
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.”
When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.
Let us put ourselves in the place of the apostles. They had been with Jesus for 3 years, saw Him suffer and die, and then they rejoiced to see Our Risen Lord. Imagine the pain in them when they knew that Our Lord was leaving them - this time they would not see Him until they would die and stand before Him... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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