Grace to You Resources
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As we look together to the Scripture, earlier in our service I read from the last section of Luke’s gospel. I want to begin the message this morning by reading from his second volume. Luke wrote two volumes: the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, as we call it. He begins the book of Acts in chapter 1 by referring to the same event that he referred to when he closed the book of Luke. Let’s look at Acts chapter 1. He ended his gospel with Christ going to heaven. He begins volume 2 with Christ going to heaven. Volume 1 is the story of Christ, and volume 2 is the story of the church.

Chapter 1 of the book of Acts, verse 1: “The first account” – meaning the gospel of Luke – “I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

“So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’

“After He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you standing looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’” And so does Luke begin volume 2 of his account by referring to the same event with which he closed volume 1: the ascension of the Lord Jesus into heaven.

On Friday, Good Friday, we considered the cross of Christ. We considered it by looking at our Lord in the garden; and there, seeing His attitudes demonstrated to us His view of the cross. He knew exactly what was coming. Yes, of course, He knew the physical elements of crucifixion; He had seen them done to other people. He also knew the details that would happen to Him, because the prophets described those details, even in the Old Testament. And He Himself spoke concerning the very sequence of things that would be done to Him, including His arrest, and even that they would spit on Him and scourge Him. All of that He was fully aware of, and anticipated.

But that is not what caused Him such terror in the garden. That is not what produced the agony that made Him so deeply distressed He came near dying in the garden before He ever got to the cross, and is not the physical things that He was anticipating that caused Him to sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, and be in agony, and cry out if there’s any way that the Father might change the plan for Him to do it. No. He saw His death not just for the physical elements of it, but He saw it for the spiritual realities of it. And what He saw was a true understanding of His death. He would not die as just a misunderstood religious leader. He would not die as a rejected, noble prophet/teacher. He was about to die under the full fury of the wrath of God, His Father.

What He saw coming against Him was not so much Jewish animosity and hatred, or Roman brutality. But what He saw coming against Him was the fury of the Father of His eternal love. He saw His death for what it was. He had a right understanding of His death. He anticipated the wrath, the anger, the fury of His Father coming on Him to punish Him for all the sins of all the people who would ever believe through all of human history. He realized that He was about to bear divine punishment for all the sins of all the people of God. He was going to die as their substitute: a substitutionary, sacrificial atoning death, chosen as the Lamb of God, to provide forgiveness, salvation, and everlasting life to unworthy sinners. He accurately understood the human experience of crucifixion.

More importantly, He understood the spiritual reality of it; and that is what was so terrifying to Him. He was in the garden, the garden of sweet communion with the Father, the garden where He Himself would go in order to talk with the Father, commune with the Father. And now He was in that garden, and it was if the Father was hunting Him down to execute Him in this horrendous way. Still we saw on Friday that it was a garden of glory, because we saw His holy sorrow, His holy trust, His holy strength, and even holy worship, as an angel appeared to give Him a taste of the worship that was awaiting Him in heaven. So we looked at the cross from before the cross, the view of Christ.

Now for this morning, I want us to look at the resurrection not by looking specifically at the resurrection, but by seeing the Father’s view looking back at the resurrection. We saw Christ looking forward to His death, and now we’re going to see the Father looking back at the resurrection. What was the Father’s view of the cross and resurrection?

A couple of passages to begin with. If you will, turn to Philippians chapter 2. That is a very famous chapter, Philippians 2, that describes the spiritual realities of Christ incarnation. It tells about Him being equal with God, and yet being willing to descend, condescend, humble Himself. Verse 7 of Philippians 2 says, “He emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives. He did not cease to be God, but took on the form of a slave, and was make in the likeness of men.” God, the second person of the Trinity, takes on human form.

Verse 8: “He was found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” This is a familiar portion of Scripture that describes the incarnation. God, the eternal second person of the Trinity, comes down, takes on human form, is developed in the womb of Mary, is born of Mary the virgin, lives a perfectly obedient life all the way to the point of death, and willingly suffers death at the most ignominious level: death on a cross.

And then we hear the Father’s response, verse 9: “For this reason also,” – because of His obedience, because of His willing humiliation – “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knew will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

What was the Father’s commentary on our Lord’s death? It was His ascension. Did you notice something missing there? You have many components of the life of Christ in that brief passage. Verse 6 says that “He existed in the form of God, and was equal with God.” That’s His eternal deity. But then in verse 7: “He emptied Himself, took the form of a slave, was made in likeness of a man.” That’s the virgin birth. And then He is appearing as a man; that’s His life. It is a sinless life, though humble, because He is obedient throughout that life, even to the point of death. And then you have His cross.

But something is missing. There’s no mention of the resurrection. God’s response in verse 9 is to highly exalt Him, and bestow on Him the name which is above every name, the name Lord, and then call on everyone to bow the knew to Him as sovereign. There’s no mention of the resurrection in Philippians 2.

The resurrection, I’m not diminishing it. How could you diminish it? It is not to be diminished, because you can’t even be a believer unless you acknowledge Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead. I’m not diminishing the resurrection. But what I am saying is the resurrection is not the final event in the life of Christ. It is the penultimate event, and not the ultimate event. And the Father goes right to the ultimate, divine commentary on the death of Christ: “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” He exalted Him above every other person.

The ascension is the ultimate event in the life of Christ, because glory is the ultimate goal in the life of Christ. The ascension is the most neglected event in the life of Christ, even though it is the culminating, monumental, consummate event. It has immense significance. You should never think about the cross without the resurrection; you should never think of the resurrection without the ascension. The ascension is God saying, “I validate, I approve everything that Christ did in His life, in His death, and through His resurrection, and raised Him to My right hand on high, and elevate Him above every person in the universe everlastingly.” Rarely do we give attention to this glorious event.

The Lord did speak about His death; He referred to that. He said He was going to die. Early in His ministry He said He was going to die. He did refer to His resurrection. He even explicitly said it would be in three days that He would rise. He told His disciples about the fact that He was going to die and rise, preparing them for those realities. But we can’t ignore the fact that our Lord also spoke often about His ascension.

In John 6:62 He says, “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? How will that strike you when you see the Son of Man go back up to heaven from whence He came?”

In the 7th chapter of John’s gospel, again Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me,” again referring to His ascension. “I’m here for awhile, and this ends when I go back to the Father in heaven.”

In the 14th chapter in the gospel of John, in the upper room the night of His betrayal, He’s got His ascension in mind. Verse 28: “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away,’ – apparently it was something He said to them frequently – ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. In other words, this incarnation experience is a lowering of Myself.” He is man; He is man made lower for awhile than the angels. “You should rejoice that I’m saying I’m going back to the Father, back to where I belong.”

Again in the 16th chapter in the gospel of John, and the 5th verse, that same night to those same disciples, He says, “I’m going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks me, ‘Where are You going?’” He’s got His ascension in view, and they don’t seem to have any interest in what happens to Him. So caught up are they in what happens to them.

When He rose from the dead Mary Magdalene came to the grave, chapter 20 of John, and she sees the risen Christ. Verse 17 of John 20, “Jesus said to her, ‘Stop clinging to Me, Mary! I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to My brethren and say to them, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.” Go tell them I’m not staying, I’m ascending.’”

As critical as this was to the purpose of God, the plan of God, as glorious as it was, the culminating event, it is so little considered. We don’t consider it like the disciples didn’t, because we’re not so much thoughtful of what happened to Him. And so He reminded the disciples in John 16:7, “If you can’t think about the ascension for what it means to Me, think about it for what it means to you. I tell you,” – He said – “it is to your advantage that I go away. Maybe that will get your attention. If it isn’t enough that you love Me and desire for Me to be glorified, it’s for you as well.” I think clearly the ascension was a part of the life of the early church in its expression of worship.

1 Timothy there is a hymn at the end of the chapter. It says this, verse 16: “By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness,” – that is God in human flesh – “great is the incarnation. He who was revealed in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up into glory.” Apparently the early church sang hymns of ascension, as we did this morning. “Soar we now where Christ has led.”

The ascension is the culminating reality in the life of our Lord on earth. Now what is its significance specifically? Many things could be considered. Let me give you just some things to think about.

First of all – and we’ve already indicated this: The ascension marks the completion of our Lord’s earthly work. The ascension marks the completion of our Lord’s earthly work. And what was His earthly work? It was to come and provide a sacrifice for sin, so that the people of God could be forgiven, and gathered into eternal heaven.

John 4:34 He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. I’ve come to finish the work.” When did He finish the work? John 19:30 He says on the cross, “It is finished! The work of providing the acceptable sacrifice is finished.”

In anticipation of having finished the work, you remember in John 17, verse 4, He prayed to the Father, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which You gave Me to do.” He anticipates His accomplishment even before it happens. He came to do the work of the Father. Throughout His life He said, “I only do what You show Me to do, what You tell Me to do. I only follow the Father, His will only.” Even in the garden: “Not My will, but Yours be done.”

The ascension says, “The work is finished.” On the cross, the work of substitutionary sacrifice was finished. But there was still a resurrection, there was still forty days of instruction, and there was still an ascension. The ascension marks the ultimate end of the work that He did on earth. And now the Father can receive Him back to glory. The fact that He goes into glory is the Father’s statement validating His work.

Say what you will about Jesus Christ. Think what you will about Him. I’ll tell you what God thinks. God exalted Him to heaven and sat Him at His right hand. And this didn’t happen in secret, this was visible. This was seen by the gathered believers who watched Him go. The Father said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I’m well-pleased,” at His baptism. But the Father said it much more dramatically, powerfully, and finally in the ascension of Jesus Christ, and sent two angels to declare that He would be back from the heaven to which the Father had taken Him.

What is the significance of the ascension? It marks the completion of our Lord’s earthly work. And necessarily, secondly, it signals the end of His limitation, the end of His limitation. No longer does He set aside the prerogatives in using His power. No longer does He limit Himself.

He prayed in John 17:5, “Father, give Me back the glory I had with You before the world began.” And that’s exactly what He received when He went back. “Give Me back full use of My power, full prerogatives for all of My attributes.” He returns to heaven.

But there is a wondrous thing to contemplate. He goes back different than when He came. He goes back with a pre-incarnate glory for sure, but He goes back with a post-incarnate glory that is more. What do I mean by that? He came as pure deity. He came as spirit. He came placed into the womb of Mary, and God began to develop a body, and He took on full and pure humanity, something He never possessed in all of eternity to that point. He became the perfect God-man, Theanthrópos, God-man. This is new.

When He goes back to heaven He goes back not just as God in a spirit, not just the invisible one. He goes back as the God-man. And why? Because He is now the head of a whole redeemed humanity who are to be made like Him. And so God first makes Him a man, and then makes all redeemed men like Him.

He is restored to His limitless use of power. He is restored to His limitless intimacy with God. But He is restored with scars and signs of suffering that remain on Him forever. He is a wounded Lamb, John says, when he sees Him in Revelation 5. It will always be that His wounds are visible and are tokens for the joy and the worship of all whom He redeemed by those wounds.

There’s a third thing to understand in the ascension: It establishes the universal and eternal worship of our Lord, the universal and eternal worship of our Lord.

I read you earlier from Philippians chapter 2 that “God exalted Him, bestowed on Him the name above every name” – that’s the name Lord – “and at that name every knee will bow in heaven, on earth, under the earth. Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” There will be universal worship of Christ forever.

The apostle Paul writes about this it says that “God raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,” – and then this – “far above all rule and authority, and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come,” – through all ages, all persons (good, bad, indifferent, all human beings), all angels (holy angels, demons, Satan), all who can be named because they are persons come under the sovereign authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only all persons, verse 22, “He put all things in subjection under His feet, and the church as well is His body, over which He is the head.” The ascension then essentially establishes permanently the universal and eternal worship of the Son of God; and that is exactly what goes on in heaven, even now and always.

When Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost, toward the end of his message he was talking about God raising up Jesus. In verse 32 of Acts 2, “God raised Him up.” And he says, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God,” – verse 33 – “and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ – this Jesus whom you crucified.” So I just want to remark that when He is taken into glory and He is given dominant, sovereign power over all beings, that includes demons and Satan and those who reject Him.

Psalm 110 says, “The Messiah will be seated by God at His right hand, and God will make His enemies a footstool for His feet.” This is bad news for Israel, that “God has made Him Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified,” which is to say, “You are among the enemies who will be crushed under His feet.

The 7th chapter of the book of Acts, Stephen has given a powerful message of redemptive history, and he ends it, of course, by coming to the resurrection. And the people are infuriated in verse 54. “They’re cut to the quick and began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit,” – verse 55 of Acts 7 – “he gazed intently into heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Just in case anybody wondered: they saw Him go up. Stephen is given a vision, the only one like it in Scripture, of Christ standing at the right hand of God. Only Stephen sees it, so he gives testimony to it in the next verse.

Verse 56, “He said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” Well, all the Jews who were there listening to him knew who the Son of Man was. They knew Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man – a messianic title from Daniel 7. This infuriated them that Stephen would say, “I’m looking into heaven; I’m seeing the throne of God. And there at His right hand is Jesus whom you crucified, He the Son of Man.” So furious were they, verse 57, “They cried out with a loud voice, they covered their ears, rushed at him with one impulse, drove him out of the city, and stoned him to death.” It was more than they could possibly handle: Jesus at the right hand of God in heaven? And they sealed their own eternal damnation.

And when you think about the ascension, God being so satisfied, so pleased that He lifts the Son, puts Him back on the throne. For us, that’s all glorious; but for His enemies, that’s all devastating judgment; for His enemies will become His footstool, which is to say they will be crushed under His feet.

There’s another reality that we understand in the ascension, it is this: The ascension signaled our Lord’s sending of the Holy Spirit. This now turns from what the ascension meant to Him to what the ascension means to us. It signaled the sending of the Holy Spirit.

Back in that upper room on that night before our Lord was crucified, He said in John 16:7, “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper” – the Comforter, the Holy Spirit – “will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you, I will send Him to you.”

Later on, as we read in Luke, He said, “Don’t go anywhere out of Jerusalem until the promise of the Father is arrived, until He comes.” In Acts 1:8, “You’ll receive power after the Holy Spirit has come on you; and then you’ll be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the remotest part of the world. I’m going back to heaven. This is good for you, this is to your advantage, because I’m going to send the Holy Spirit.”

The point He’s making is, “Look, you’ve had Me with you, but I’m not everywhere in incarnated form. I can’t be with you all the time. And now I’m leaving. But what is better for you than having Me with you some of the time is having the Holy Spirit in you all of the time, because He is as I am: God. And He will take up residence in you. The Holy Spirit will come to you. He will live in you. You will become His temple. He will empower you. He will enable you. He will comfort you. It’s better to go, because when I go, and the Father validates My work, I will send the Holy Spirit.”

It only was a few days after He left. He said that in Acts 1, a few days. It was Acts 2, the Spirit came, the explosion of power, three thousand people are converted; thousands more, thousands more, thousands more. And here we are many centuries later, and the power of the Holy Spirit has circled the globe again, and again, and again, building the church.

When you think of the ascension in our terms, “What does it mean to us?” there’s a second thing to consider: It marked the beginning of our Lord’s preparation for our heavenly home. It marked the beginning of our Lord’s preparation for our heavenly home.

In John, again, 14, the disciples are languishing over the idea that He’s leaving. He says in chapter 14, verse 1, “Don’t let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I’m going to come again and receive you to Myself. That’s not going to be an unoccupied place. I’m going to go, I’m going to prepare it for you, I’m going to come back and get you, and take you there.”

What is the Lord doing now? He hasn’t gone into retirement. He’s not resting, sitting on His accomplishments. He’s in heaven now preparing a home for us. Look at the beautiful world in its pristine glory before the fall that He created in six days – a universe in six days. What can He do with all this time in heaven? What glories will we see when we get there? You can read Revelation 21 and 22; the description of heaven is breathtaking. It’s breathtaking.

There’s something else that happened for us it marked the passing of gospel responsibility from the Lord to His followers. The Lord says, “I’m going.”

Remember what I read you in Acts 1 about all that Jesus began. Jesus didn’t finish the work of gospel ministry, He finished the word of redemption. He didn’t finish the work of gospel ministry, just began to do and teach, doing and teaching, that is living out kingdom life and power and righteousness, and teaching it; that goes on. He says, “He began to do and teach it until the day when He was taken up to heaven.” And once He was taken up to heaven, it had to be passed on to somebody else. So the Holy Spirit gave orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. So the baton goes from the Lord to the apostles, and the Holy Spirit brings the power and the calling to fruition in the case of the apostles.

Well, what happens after the apostles? After the apostles come the believers in the church. Look at Ephesians 4, Ephesians 4. Again, talking about the ascension in verse 8: “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives,” – He took those that He had purchased at the cross into glory – “and He gave gifts to men.” That’s a portion of Scripture wonderfully borrowed from Psalm 68. But it’s talking about the ascension.

Verse 9: “He ascended. What does it mean that He had also descended in to the lower parts of the earth?” You have the incarnation, and then you have the ascension. “He descended” – in verse 10 – “so that He could ascend above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.” He goes back, back to the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of His eternal being, and fills all things. And then He gives.

And what does He give? “He gives apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, to the building up of the body of Christ.” What happens at the ascension is our Lord passes the baton to the apostles and the New Testament prophets, and then they pass the baton to the evangelists and the pastors and teachers; and so it goes through history. Our Lord has gone back into glory, given us the ministry.

But how can we do that ministry? What power do we have to do that ministry? Well, you have the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in every single believer. And more than that, He gave to the apostles and their associates another task. In John 15 and in 16, He said, “I’m going to send the Holy Spirit. He’s going to bring all things into your remembrance, whatever I’ve said and whatever I’ve done.” And that enabled them to write the Scripture, the New Testament.

So through the apostles and those who were with them, the Lord gave the New Testament to His people. So we have the internal power of the Holy Spirit, we have the external revelation of Scripture written by the Holy Spirit, so we have the book that the Spirit authored, and we have the author living in us; and by the Word and Spirit, we are empowered to finish the work that Jesus only began. So the ascension marks the end of His work of doing and teaching, and the beginning of our work of doing and teaching in the power of the Spirit based upon the revelation of Scripture.

There’s one other benefit to us, profound advantage. Hebrews chapter 4 and verse 14 says this: “We have a great high priest.” What does a high priest do? Intercede between us and God. “We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,” – that’s the ascension again: the first heaven, the second heaven, into the third heaven.

This great high priest is none other than Jesus the Son of God, and knowing that He is there, and He has us in His heart, and nothing will ever separate us from His love. Let us hold fast our confession. We do not have to ever fear that we will be forsaken or we will be lost. Hold fast your confession. We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.

You say, “Well, wait a minute. He’s our High Priest. He goes into heaven for us. We can count on His faithfulness. But what about our sin? What about our weakness?”

No, we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin, which is to say He knows temptation to its max because He never gave in. He gets that. He understands our weakness. So rather than fear that He might forsake us, let us draw near to that faithful High Priest, that sympathizing High Priest with confidence to His throne of grace. We will always need grace. We will never be acceptable on our own. We go back again and again to the throne of grace. And what do we receive? Mercy and grace to help in time of need.

He is our merciful, faithful, sympathetic High Priest. That’s why chapter 7 of Hebrews, verse 25, says, “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him.” How does He do that? “He always lives to make intercession for them.” He brings us to glory by His constant intercession on our behalf. And though there may be those that accuse us, and though Satan might accuse us, no accusation will stand. Nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Better for Him to ascend. Better for us, because we have the Holy Spirit, because we have the Scripture, because we have the ministry, because we have an interceding High Priest. Better for Him. He is exalted to glory. The whole universe, every conscious being in the universe is subjected to His sovereign power and glory. His enemies even are crushed beneath His feet.

And then there’s a final reality when you think about the ascension, and that’s exactly where we started in Acts chapter 1. The angel said, “This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you watched Him go into heaven.” How did He go? In the clouds. How will He come? In the clouds. The ascension guarantees the Lord’s return. The ascension guarantees the Lord’s return. “I’m going to prepare a place for you; I’ll be back to take you.”

Our Lord in the ascension is exalted. In the ascension His humiliation has ended. He is given back full glory that He had before He ever came into this world. He is there to receive universal and everlasting adoration. He’s there preparing our eternal home. He’s there acting as the head over His body, the church. He’s passed to us ministry, but also given us the Spirit to empower us, and the Scripture to direct us.

He is, for us, constantly interceding on our behalf, so that grace is always flowing to us, which will bring us to eternal glory. And He stands ready in the Father’s time to come back and take us with Him to heaven, and then to establish His kingdom on earth. And then the new heaven and the new earth forever to be the King of glory. That’s the Father’s view of the cross and resurrection.

Lord, we are grateful again that Your Word is so rich and full. These are heavenly truths. These are realities that would be known to no one. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard; these are not available. These truths that we celebrate we only know because You’ve revealed them in Your Word, and You’ve given us Your Holy Spirit that we might accurately discern them. So we rejoice as this Resurrection Sunday comes to think not just about a risen Christ, but about an ascended Christ. That’s Your commentary on His death and resurrection. You exalted Him to Your right hand and made Him Lord over everyone and everything. And He is our Lord, preparing a place to gather us to Himself.

We rejoice in all that Christ is to us. Pray that no one, no one would end up among the enemies of the Savior, the Redeemer. Open every heart, Lord, to the glory of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we pray in His name. Amen.

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