Before he was taken up, Jesus turned to his disciples, raised his hands, and blessed them:
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:50-53)
Not only did Jesus bestow a blessing on his disciples, he ascended to heaven as he was speaking it. What an image! As Jesus floated upward, slowing vanishing from sight, his words rang forth, “The Lord bless you and keep you…May he give you peace.”
Even as Jesus receded from view, his disciples still heard him blessing—and for good reason. This cloud elevator to heaven was not just some simple means of transportation. Rather, this was Bethany—the place of triumph. Here are five ways the ascension brings comfort to every Christian today:
1. The ascension is the confirmation of Jesus’ glorification in his resurrection.
Jesus’ ascension is his entering his heavenly kingdom as Lord and King. Luke records Jesus telling his disciples,
You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30)
The Father had covenanted with Jesus to assign him a kingdom, and the ascension is Jesus being crowned with all authority in heaven and earth.
The ascension trumpets that Jesus has won. As we look out at this world, we see chaotic evil, tragic accidents, sin increasing, and the church struggling. To the eye, it seems as if Satan is winning. He completes all his passes and always gets the first down. But the ascension shows us that Jesus is standing in the end zone with the ball, and the scoreboard reads: Satan 0, Jesus 100.