Flying High with Jesus—Life Application for October 23, 2016

October 16, 2016 No Comments »
Flying High with Jesus—Life Application for October 23, 2016

By David Faust

faustWhat does it mean to say Jesus “always lives to intercede” for us? These words in Hebrews 7:25 make me think about a noteworthy miracle that receives little attention. When is the last time you heard a sermon about the ascension of Jesus?

At the conclusion of his Gospel, Dr. Luke recorded the remarkable story with customary calm. Jesus lifted up his hands and blessed his disciples. “While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:51, 52).

Miraculous Power

Jesus’ time on earth began with a miracle: the virgin birth. Then 33 years later, his physical ministry on earth concluded with miracles: his resurrection and ascension into Heaven.

Jesus was killed cruelly on a cross, but then he arose and used the next 40 days to provide convincing evidence that he was alive (Acts 1:3). Can you imagine what it was like to see the Lord’s resurrected body lifted up from the ground and ascending into the air? The disciples must have been awestruck when he soared into the sky until “a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9).

Yet just as Jesus’ birth occurred with relative simplicity at Bethlehem’s manger, he left without a lot of fanfare. The tender farewell at his ascension lacked the whirlwind and fiery chariot God sent for Elijah (2 Kings 2:11, 12), but Jesus’ dramatic liftoff left no doubt that God’s miraculous power was at work.

Spiritual Significance

Oswald Chambers said of Jesus: “His cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by his resurrection he has the right to give eternal life to anyone; and by his ascension our Lord entered Heaven, keeping the door open for humanity.”

The ascension closed the period of Jesus’ human limitations and returned him to the glorious state he enjoyed prior to the incarnation—glory that was veiled for 33 years (and unveiled for a short time at the transfiguration). Upon his ascension back to Heaven, Jesus was exalted by the Father and received “the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

Personal Relevance

Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:2), and just as he left, he will return (Acts 1:11). Bible commentator Alexander MacLaren put it simply: “The world has not seen the last of Jesus Christ.” Meanwhile, he intercedes at the Father’s right hand, serving as our advocate with the Father, coming to the defense of sinners like us (Ephesians 1:20-23; 1 John 2:1).

In the disciples’ final glimpse of Jesus, they saw the Lord’s hands outstretched in a gesture of blessing. They left the scene, not brokenhearted and miserable with grief but filled “with great joy” (Luke 24:52). They were eager to take the next step as the Holy Spirit led them. They understood a lesson we must take to heart as well: No matter how difficult things become, we have a mediator in the heavenly realms interceding for us. Someday soon we’re going to fly high with Jesus. Meanwhile, it’s encouraging to know he is a high priest who “truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26).

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

Daily Readings

Oct. 17


Psalm 110

Victory of God’s Priest-King

Oct. 18


Numbers 18:21-24

Service by and Support of Priests

Oct. 19


Ephesians 1:11-16

Believers’ Inheritance in Christ

Oct. 20


Ephesians 1:17-23

Power of God Invested in Christ

Oct. 21


Hebrews 9:11-15, 23-28

Jesus’ One Offering

Oct. 22


Hebrews 7;15-17

Power of an Indestructible Life

Oct. 23


Hebrews 7:1-3, 19b-28

Jesus, Living Intercessor for the People

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