Feast of the Ascension of Jesus

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Feast of the Ascension of the Lord

On the Feast of the Ascension, the Church does not merely commemorate a historical event in the life of Jesus Christ. On this day, the Church celebrates Jesus Christ's physical departure from the world and His glorification with God the Father. Ascension falls on the fortieth day after the Resurrection.

Why did Jesus leave His disciples forty days after His resurrection? Forty is a significant number in the scriptures. Moses went to the mountain to seek the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years in preparation for their entry into the Promise Land. Elijah fasted for forty days as he journeyed in the wilderness to the mountain of God. For forty days after His resurrection Jesus appeared numerous times to His disciples to assure them that He had risen indeed and to prepare them for the task of carrying on the work which He began during His ministry on earth.

Jesus' departure and ascension was both an end and a beginning for His disciples. While it was the end of Jesus’ physical presence with His beloved disciples, it marked the beginning of Jesus’ presence with them in a new way. Jesus promised that He would be with them always to the end of time (Mt. 28:20). Now as the glorified and risen Lord and Savior, ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus promised to send them the Holy Spirit who would anoint them with power on the Feast of Pentecost, just as Jesus was anointed for His ministry at the River Jordan. When the Lord Jesus departed physically from the apostles, they were not left in sorrow or grief. Instead, they were filled with joy and with great anticipation for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus' last words to His apostles point to His saving mission and to their mission to be witnesses of His saving death and His glorious resurrection and to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the world. Their task is to proclaim the gospel – the good news of salvation – not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations as well. God’s love and gift of salvation is not reserved for a few or for one nation alone, but it is for the whole world – for all who will accept it. The gospel is the power of God, the power to release people from their burden of guilt, sin, and oppression, and the power to heal, restore, and make us whole.

This is the great commission which the risen Christ gives to the whole church. All believers have been given a share in this task – to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world. We have not been left alone in this task, for the risen Lord works in and through us by the power of His Holy Spirit. Today we witness a new Pentecost as the Lord pours out His Holy Spirit upon His people to renew and strengthen the Body of Christ and to equip it for effective ministry and mission world-wide. (www.discerninghearts.com

God Bless!!!! Fr. Elmer