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Ascension of Christ

Ascension of Christ

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Luke xxiv. 51.

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted
from them, and taken up into heaven.


Luke xxiv. 51.

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted
from them, and taken up into heaven.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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ASCESIO OF CHRISTBY REV HERY KOLLOCK, D. D.Luke xxiv. 51.And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was partedfrom them, and taken up into heaven.Jesus Christ having paid the ransom for our sinsupon the cross, and having sanctified the grave forhis followers by his residence in it, departed fromthis world and ascended to his Father. He thus as-cended that he might discharge more fully his medi-atorial offices of king, priest, and prophet, of hispeople. Since his kingdom was not earthly and tem-poral, but spiritual and heavenly ; since it was notlimited but extended to all creatures, it was properthat he should ascend to the highest heaven in orderto exercise it. And there he is seated, king over allthings, and the head of his church, governing anddirecting the universe, and managing the concernsof his people. As a priest, he had offered up him-self a sacrifice in our stead, and satisfied divine jus-tice. But still it was necessary for him to ascend toheaven, there to present the sacrifice of Calvary.LIFE OF CHRIST. 425and to intercede for us. As our prophet, he had in-structed man in the will of God, but much still re-mained to be revealed by the Holy Ghost, who, ac-cording to the divine purposes, could not be senttill after Christ's ascension. " It is expedient foryou, 1 ' said he to his disciples, " that 1 go away, forif I go not away the Holy Spirit will not come untoyou. 1 ' His mission was reserved as the reward of 
the Saviour's, obedience, as the effect of his interces-sion above, as the consequence of his triumph, a3the evidence of the power and glory which he pos-sessed in heaven. It was necessary that Christshould ascend, that he might receive the reward of his sufferings and humiliation. " He humbled him-self," says St. Paul, " and became obedient untodeath, even the death of the cross ; wherefore Godhath highly exalted him, and given him a name thatis above every name; that at the name of Jesusevery knee should bow, of things in heaven, andthings on earth, and things under the earth." It wasnecessary that Jesus should ascend to heaven, totake possession of it for his followers, and there toprepare mansions for them. This reason he morethan once assigns ; and his apostle assures us thathe entered not in his own name only, but as our fore-runner and harbinger. It was necessary that heshould ascend into heaven, that our love, our faith,our worship, might be pure and spiritual. Had heremained on earth, our love would have been min-gled with animal affection, our faith would have hadno opportunity of exercise, our worship would havebeen interrupted by familiar intercourse with him.But now that he has left the earth, our love becomesmore spiritual, we have an opportunity to attain theblessedness of those who having not seen have be-vol. n. 54426 SERMO LX1V.lieved, and our worship is correspondent with hiehigh elevation : that he might fulfil the ancient pro-phecies, which declared (hat " he should ascend onhigh, and lead captivity captive :" that " the ever-lasting doors should be unfolded to receive this Kingof glory, this Lord strong and mighty." To accom-plish the ancient types, this spiritual Joseph rose from
the prison of the grave to the highest dignity andglory ; this nobler David, after all his afflictions andtrials, quietly possessed his crown ; this great high-priest entered into the holiest with the blood whichhe had shed. For these and similar reasons Jesusascended into heaven.The time, the place, the witnesses, the circum-stances of his ascension, all are calculated to inte-rest and instruct us.Having broken the bonds of death, and risen tri-umphant from the grave, he did not immediately ascendto his native heaven, and take possession of that glorywhich he had with the Father before the foundationof the world. Seeking not his own glory, but mansfelicity, he would not return to the bosom of his Fa-ther, and the adoration of the celestial host, till hehad confirmed the faith of his disciples, that had beenshaken by his sufferings ; till he had prepared themfor his departure ; till he had given to mankind themost incontestable proofs of his resurrection. Forty-days therefore he remained on earth showing him-self to his followers, filling up this last period of hisresidence below with acts of mercy and kindness;consoling, animating, and instructing his disciples ;and " speaking to them of the things pertaining tothe kingdom of God."Imitate his example, Christian parent ! When youlike your Saviour are about to leave those committedLIFE OF CHRIST. 427to your charge, when you are about to pass fromearth to heaven, seize with avidity the few momentsthat remain to you to direct, animate, and instructthose that you leave behind you. Think it not suffi-

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