The Ascension of Jesus is one of the most difficult passages in scripture to grasp. As human beings we are bound by the constraints of time and place. There is a wonderful line in Shakespeare, ‘There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than in all of your philosophy’. The ascension invites us to see beyond the limitations of our daily routine and enter into God-time, and God-place. Following the Ascension, in this God dimension, Jesus is present to us in a new and radical way. He is no longer bound by chronology or geography. He said, ‘wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I also.’ What a very different world it would be if we truly grasped this exciting reality. It is a reality that transforms our existence and makes all things possible. To understand this, we need only consider that it was an odd assortment of fishermen, a tax collector, and women, along with a particularly eloquent, and at times difficult, Pharisee who responded to this message and promise. In so doing they transformed the world.

 

The Ascension of the Lord is a sacred day on which Jesus ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. The great mystery of this day, and the reason it is of such importance, is that he ascended not only as God but as man – ascending in his physical human body. Our human nature has therefore been raised to the dignity of heaven, and this is a sign and a promise that we can follow where he has gone before us.

Acts 1:6-11

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”