As we celebrate the sixth Sunday in Easter today we’re looking forward to Ascension Sunday next Lord’s Day. This Thursday is Ascension Day proper (the fortieth day after the Resurrection), and we will mark the Ascension even more in our worship next Sunday. The Sunday after that is Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection marking the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Christian Church.
But Ascension Day is not merely the day we remember that Jesus left us. Ascension Day is not the celebration of Jesus disappearing. The Ascension is the enthronement of Jesus. The Ascension is what Daniel saw in his vision centuries earlier when he said, “I was watching in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven and he came to the Ancient of Days…” (Dan. 7:13). Notice where this Son of Man is coming to: He’s not coming to earth. He’s coming to the Ancient of Days. And Daniel goes on: “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan. 7:14). When Jesus ascended into heaven he was crowned king of the world, and given a kingdom that will never be destroyed.
As we gather this morning, we gather as the subjects of this king, as the citizens of his kingdom. And we gather with millions of saints throughout the world, with those who have gone before us, and all the angels. Therefore rejoice; our king reigns over this world in perfect sovereignty. And all the nations and kings and presidents and prime ministers are under his rule, whether they like it or not. Glory in this today, glory in this throughout the week, and celebrate this Thursday with your families and friends. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed.