This Week’s Devotional Thought

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When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. Luke 24:50-53

The Ascension of Jesus Christ is one of the most important events in salvation history. It ranks right up there with Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. But why is it just as important? Why should we care and celebrate that Jesus is in heaven right now with just as much joy as his coming to this world, his rising from the dead, and his sending of the Holy Spirit?

We celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into heaven because it means that our Savior who did come down to this world, taking on human flesh, who suffered and died on the cross and rose from the dead, is right now in heaven ruling all things for our good.

The very God who loves us so much and wants the best for us is making sure the best actually happens. He is making sure that we have a home in heaven ready to go for when we get there. He is making sure that the world, the devil, and our own sinful nature doesn’t get the best of us.

How can we be so sure that Jesus is continuously doing all these things for us? He not only promised us this but he also showed us on the day he was taken up into heaven.

Just before Jesus was taken, what did he do? He lifted up his hands and blessed his disciples. The very hands that were nailed to a cross, with the nail marks still visible, were lifted up to bless.

That is what makes us so sure. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be saved. Jesus suffered horribly so we wouldn’t have too. Jesus lived a perfect life because we couldn’t. He did all those things, and now, how will he not, who has kept every promise he has given, fail to keep the promise to bless us and rule for us?

Jesus will not and cannot fail to keep blessing us in this life. We can trust in our God above all things. We can trust that he will continue to bless us. We can trust that Jesus isn’t going to stand idly by while the devil, world, and our nature attack and try to rip our salvation from his hands.

Just look at Jesus’ hands. They still haven’t stopped blessing us with his love, care, and salvation.

That is what makes Ascension so great: it reminds us that we have a God who is fighting for us.

Happy to know that God is on my side, just like you!

Pastor Hanneman