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Jesus Ascended (Part 1: Jesus Arrives)

Ascension Day was 9 days ago. (I was away at May Council at the time, otherwise I'd have written something about it then.) I know it was 9 days ago, because tomorrow is Whitsun (Pentecost), which always falls 10 days after Ascension Day (which is 40 days after Easter Sunday). But this post isn't about mathematics or calculating feast days, but about the Ascension itself.

Jesus' Ascension is about much more than simply a change of location, so, over the course of a few posts, let's look briefly at 5 implications of the Ascension.

1) Jesus Arrives
The Ascension isn't just about Jesus leaving the earth, but also about Him arriving in heaven. The two aren't the same thing. Leaving the earth is a change of location, but arriving in heaven is much more than just that, for Hebrews 9:24 tells us that Jesus arrived in heaven, 'now to appear in the presence of God for us'. That means that not only did He live, die and rise for us, but He has also ascended for us.
But how does He present Himself for us? Is this some sort of perpetual offering of His blood in heaven. No, not at all, for 'after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God' (Heb. 10:12). Jesus made full atonement through the once and for all offering of Himself on the Cross and the Father has fully accepted that sacrifice, so it's not some sort of ongoing re-presenting of His blood; but rather, the Christ who was dead and is now risen appears Himself as the Lamb once slain who lives, as the one who has finished the work of redemption. When Christ appears for us in heaven with His blood (Heb. 9:12), it's the efficacy of the one offering, not the offering itself, which is perpetual. By His appearing in heaving for us we're assured that indeed, it is finished.

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