The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 7 - Day 4
Our Advocate Before the Father
The Ascension of Jesus
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 24:50-53 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
The account of the ascension is told briefly in the gospel of Luke. The book of Acts, chapter 1, will give us the most extensive account of the ascension in the New Testament. The reason the accounts of the ascension tend to be brief is that Christ’s ascension happened quickly and without a great deal of fanfare. The focus was not on the manner of his departure but the task Jesus had left the disciples to do.
In the previous section, Jesus talked about the mission he was leaving the disciples. They were to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins to all people beginning in Jerusalem. When Jesus had appeared to the disciples sufficiently, in his resurrected form, he blessed them and returned to the Father.
The book of Acts, also authored by Luke gives the time of Jesus’ resurrected appearances as about forty days. When Jesus ascended, it would yet be about ten days until the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost. Luke says that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple, praising God.
It is important to note that Jesus ascended into heaven bodily. That is, it was not his spirit only that ascended but his body as well. Of course, it was his resurrection body, that was both like and unlike his former body. It was like it in that the disciples recognized him yet unlike in that he could appear suddenly. Jesus also ascended with the nail prints still in his hands and feet was. Well as the mark on the spear in his side. Theologians have generally thought that even now, Christ retains his resurrected body, including his scars, so that he remains our brother and Mediator with the Father.
Things to consider –
· Why do you think God chose this way for Jesus to return to heaven? Do you think it would have been better if he was taken in a fiery chariot, like Elijah (II Kings 2:11)?
· What do you think Jesus’ blessing of the disciples included (Luke 21:50)?
· If Christ were to bless you, what would it be? What might it mean to be blessed by Jesus?
· Do you think Jesus still prays for the church? Or has he gotten tired of the church?
· What do you think the Bible means when it says that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father?
· Does it help Christ in representing us before the Father to retain the nail prints?
· Who would you like Christ to bless? Your family? Your country? Your church? Your friends? Would you like help with your problems? Which ones?
Guide for prayer –
· Take 1 minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Speak to Christ. Thank him for being your Mediator in heaven and Advocate before the Father.
· Thank him that he has gone before you into heaven to prepare a place for you (John 14:2). Imagine what that place might be like. Thank him that he awaits your arrival in the kingdom of God one day.
· Thank him that he intercedes for his church from heaven.
· Thank him that he will strengthen you. With grace from above for the labors he has given you to do for God’s kingdom.
· Rejoice in your spirit. Feel the joy of the resurrection and new life. Feel the power of this new grace in your heart and life. Imagine light from God shining on your entire life.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers seem appropriate.