Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion and death during the Feast of Firstfruits. Mary, the women at the tomb, and His disciples saw Him in His resurrected body as well as over 500 brethren before His ascension into heaven (John 20:17; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8). During the next 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus taught His disciples, encouraged them, and did many signs. He had prepared them for His leaving throughout His ministry (John 7:33; 14:2, 12; 16:28-30). Just before His ascension, He commissioned them (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18). It also included us because He said He would be with us to the end of the age, and we are the body of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Colossians 1:18; Romans 12:1-21). Jesus ascended alone (Acts 1:9).
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. Luke 24:50 – 51 (NKJV)
So then, after the Lord has spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19 (NKJV)
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, “which,” He said. “You have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4 – 5 (NKJV)
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:8 – 9 (NKJV)
What did the disciples do after they saw Him ascend to heaven?
And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen. Luke 24:52 – 53 (NKJV)
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:14 (NKJV)
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word through the accompanying signs, Amen. Mark 16:20 (NKJV)
What does His ascension mean to us as believers in Jesus Christ?
His ascension bears witness and the evidence of who He is, the Son of God, and that what He said is true. The sacrifice of Jesus as the sinless lamb of God was for our sins (1 Peter 1:18-19). He ascended into heaven so that His blood could be sprinkled on the Mercy Seat once and for all ( Hebrews 9:11-13). In both the Old and New Testaments, God’s ability to dwell among sinful people is by the blood of the sin-offering sprinkled on the Mercy seat, which is God’s throne of mercy (See Exodus 25:17-22; Leviticus 16:14; Psalm 91:1; Hebrews 10:19-22). There is no other way to a Holy God except by the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:24-25). Christ is our mercy seat! The earthly tabernacle we see in the Old Testament was a pattern of the one in heaven. What we see in the Old Covenant was a type and foreshadowed Christ (Hebrews 7:27; 8:7).
Jesus is the Mediator of a better and New Covenant in His blood (Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 10:1-18; 12:24). He is our High Priest, and His blood speaks for us (Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 2:12-13; 1 Peter 2:24; John 6:53). For Christ to be the Mediator of the New Covenant, He came as flesh and blood so that through His death He might destroy the devil who had the power of death over us, which held us in bondage to the fear of death all our lifetime. Therefore, He had to be made like us so that He would be in all things a merciful and faithful High Priest in matters about God to make atonement for our sins and to reconcile us to God (Hebrews 2:14-17). He was sinless and therefore was a perfect sacrifice that fulfilled the law. And because He suffered temptation, He can help us who are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14 – 16 (NKJV)
If you have never asked Jesus to forgive your sins and to be your Savior, you can do that right now. You can experience God’s love, peace, and reconciliation by the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. Pray this suggested prayer out loud right now. You can also pray in your own words. Remember, it is not words or prayer alone that will save you. Prayer is a way to reach out to the Lord and must be done in faith (completely trusting in Him to save you). Christ will save you if you pray these or similar words in faith.
Your Word says that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I ask You to forgive me for my sins. I want to turn from them and turn to You. I am calling on You and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for me. I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead, and He is alive today. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me the Holy Spirit to live inside of me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and Your healing power in my life. I now belong to You. Help me to live for You and obey You all the days of my life.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
If you prayed the prayer for salvation in faith, you are now a child of God and are in His family (John 1:12). Go to my website and check out some steps on how to grow in your relationship with Him! https://alexiscarucci.com/welcome-to-gods-family/
Sitting at someone’s right hand in ancient times is known as a position of authority, for a person with the highest rank next to the king. Today we would call it someone’s “right-hand man.” Sitting down indicates a place of resting from work (Hebrews 4:10; 10:11-14). Jesus has finished the work of salvation, declaring victory over sin and the devil, and took His position of authority, seated at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20-21). The authority of Jesus is over all the power of the enemy, i.e., sickness and disease, death, poverty and lack, famine and drought, disasters, evil, and bondage, etc. (Matthew 8:17; Galatians 3:13; 1 John 2:8). We also were raised with Him (Colossians 3:1), and are sitting with Him at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 2:6).
Jesus transferred His authority to us the believer and to His body the church, to which we belong (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 27; Luke 10:19; Matthew 28:18-20). Authority is the legal right to use delegated power. We have God-given authority over the devil and his demonic forces through Jesus Christ because Jesus defeated him for us (1 John 4:4; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 12:11). We received this authority when we became born-again. We walk in His authority through spiritual revelation and by grace through faith. It must be used by faith because that is how the kingdom of God operates (Hebrews 11:6). God has unlimited power, but He chose to limit it according to our faith. Believing is the key to everything in the kingdom of God, and it’s the way to tap into the power of God (Mark 11:22-24).
Power is the ability to do something or influence behavior. It is what is needed to get the job done! Satan was stripped of all his authority because Jesus has it all (Matthew 28:18), but Satan still has power (Ephesians 2:2). However, he is not more powerful than the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and who gives us His power (1 John 4:4). This power is the same resurrection power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11).
We are equipped to face the power of the enemy with greater power to defeat him because of the greater One who lives in us (1 John 4:4). We have tools and weapons to use against him to defeat him (2 Corinthians 10:3 – 5; Isaiah 54:17), i.e., praise and worship (Psalm 18:3; 2 Chronicles 20:22), prayer (Ephesians 6:18), the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11), the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11), the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 107:20; Proverbs 18:21; Isaiah 55:11), the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20, 27), the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), binding and loosing, the power of agreement (Matthew 18:18-20), and angels (Psalm 91:11 – 12; Psalm 34:7; Psalm 103:20; Hebrews 1:14).
We have other weapons that the Bible talks about that we may not usually think of as weapons, but they are because they protect us from allowing the enemy to have victory in our lives:
- Walking in love (1 Corinthians 13:7-8; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 4:18), wisdom (Proverbs 4:7), faith (2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 John 5:4), humility (James 4:10; Proverbs 18:12; Psalm 149:4), forgiveness (Matthew 5:22-24; 6:14), pleasing to the Lord (Proverbs 16:7), and walking in the Spirit instead of the flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25)
- Speak gracious and kind words (Proverbs 15:1; 18:20-21; 21:23; Colossians 4:6; 1 Peter 3:10)
- Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9)
We have the authority to use power supplied by the Holy Spirit or the anointing. The Greek word for Christ, Cristos, means “the anointed one.” Christ in English means anointed – “to pour over, to smear or rub into.” Therefore Jesus Christ means the Anointed One and His Anointing. It is His anointing or power that gives us authority over the enemy. The anointing comes in at salvation (John 16:13; Romans 8:9, 11). The anointing is in you to transform, reveal, teach, direct, and correct you (1 John 2:20, 27).
The anointing also comes upon us with the baptism with the Holy Spirit and is the power of God for ministry, i.e., to share the gospel, for healing, deliverance, provision, etc. Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit before He began His earthly ministry (Luke 3: 21-22; 4:18-19; Acts 10:38).
So, Satan tries to trick us into giving him authority over our lives, families, cities, and nations by believing his lies, sinning or making a covenant with him. We empower him when we come into agreement with him. Our purpose is to destroy the works of the devil as an extension of Christ’s mission (1 John 3:8). Jesus has already achieved victory over Satan and the enemy. Our role as His disciples is to enforce that victory and to occupy until He comes back to establish His kingdom (Luke 19:13; Hebrews 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28, 50-58; Revelation 20).
Until then, we still walk in a world dominated by the devil and his forces. God gave the dominion of the earth to humankind, and we lost it to Satan in the Garden (Genesis 1:26; 3:9-19; Luke 4:6-8). Jesus came to get it back for us (Luke 19:10). That is why God needs someone to partner with Him to bring His Kingdom to the earth. The power, authority, and dominion of God are in us because the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21).
We have been given all spiritual blessings in Him through His death, resurrection, and ascension. He is seated at the right hand of God with angels, authorities, and powers having been made subject to Him, which is His position of authority (1 Peter 3:22). He is declared as ruling King of kings over all powers in the ages to come (Ephesians 1:20-21). We were raised with Christ and seated with Him at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, which is our position in Christ, and the source of our authority and power (Ephesians 2:6). Therefore, the enemy is under our feet too! We celebrate in Christ’s victory by receiving gifts, benefits, and blessings (Ephesians 4:7-12; Psalm 103:2; Ephesians 1:3).
Jesus said in John 14:12 that we would do greater works because He goes to the Father. But we must abide in the Vine and realize that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). When we pray, we are to pray from our position in heaven in Christ, from victory. We are not just to pray and ask God to move on our behalf, but we are to exercise the authority He has given to us and follow His leading!
Paul’s prayer for the body of Christ:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:17 – 23 (NKJV)
The ascension of Jesus Christ is one of the most important and pivotal events in our redemption. It revealed His exaltation to the right hand of the Father after completing His finished work on the cross (Acts 5:31) and foreshadowed the final event of salvation, which is His return.
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11 (NKJV)
His ascension was necessary to continue His work on the earth through the Holy Spirit and the church by the outpouring of the Spirit (John 16:7-16; Acts 2:33). We can now receive all of the blessings of salvation and celebrate our inheritance (Ephesians 1:3)! Next week, we will look at His return. Jesus is coming back!