Ascension, exploring the implications, power and hope in Jesus' ascension.
This week, Dave Fuentes shares his thoughts and reflections on Sunday's message.
Growing up in East Harlem I was like many of my friends, fatherless and of the few times I remember interacting with my father, the strongest memory was always his departure. Because he didn’t live with me I never knew when he was coming back. I was never happier when he arrived but watching him leave always broke my heart.
In Brother Ruben's encouraging sermon on the ascension, I was reminded of the disciples and that same heartbreak. In His resurrection the disciples were overjoyed as their King had returned. He had come back to be with them and they were not powerless or hopeless. He had conquered death, risen from the dead, to help restore His kingdom and take back what was theirs. Until Jesus informs them that he is leaving.
In his sermon, Brother Ruben’s hope was that we would see the necessity of the ascension. That we would celebrate it. In Jesus ascension we gain the power of the Holy Spirit, He becomes our advocate priest and our King of Hope.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
In his sermon Ruben reminds us that it was for our advantage that Jesus would leave and He would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit. In the book of Joel it said “That the Spirit of God would be poured out on the world”. Through scripture it is clear that the Gospel is for the world and this is the power of the Gospel. He comes to convict the world and point everyone to Jesus.
That same power lives in me because he ascended.
In His ascension we have our advocate, in Jesus we get proper representation. Jesus is our proper representation because he went through and fully understands our struggle. He empathizes with us.
It would have been simple for the King to come and not go through trouble. To not go through hurt, humiliation, betrayal, pain, despair, depression, the wrath of sin and the break in fellowship with the Father. But He did, even now he is our advocate before the Father because he ascended.
The disciples adored their time with Jesus, as Ruben points out, he cared for them, walked with them, even named them. Jesus was their King of Hope. They left their families to follow him because they loved Him. He was God and he was their hope, their power and advocate.
When Jesus ascended the angel told the disciple that he, Jesus will return the same way he ascended in Glory with a place prepared for us for all eternity. That he had given them power, he was sending the Holy Spirit, though he was leaving he would be their advocate before the Father until his return. This was their hope. That Jesus is King now and forever.
In my first year of fatherhood, I remember leaving my daughter of 16 months with the babysitter as I headed off to work. She cried as I left because of her uncertainty of my return. As I exited the building I heard her crying for me from outside. It was heartbreaking, I wanted to run back to comfort her but I knew that I was going so I could provide and build a better life for her.
Walking to the train that day I was reminded of how Jesus must've felt. My faith soared as I understood that my love for my daughter was a foreshadow of the love Jesus has for me but also for her. As I looked forward to returning from work and rejoicing with her I couldn't help but reflect on how much more the Father looks forward to coming back and restoring his Kingdom.
All because Jesus ascended we have power, an advocate, and hope.