Jesus Ascended: Part 3 (Jesus Gives)

We've been looking of late at the significance of the Ascension of Christ, and already we've seen that Jesus Arrives and Jesus Receives. But today let's have a look at how, not only does He receive as a result of the Ascension, but He also gives.

3. Jesus Gives

What does the Ascension have to do with giving? What does Jesus give as a result of His Ascension? The Bible answers these questions in two ways, because there are two distinct things which Jesus gives as a result of the Ascension.

(i) Jesus Gives the Holy Spirit
Ten days after His Ascension, Jesus baptised His disciples in the Holy Spirit. First He ascended, then He poured out the Spirit. And this was no mere coincidence. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter explained that the events of that day were a consequence of the Ascension: 'Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.' (Acts 2:33). In fact, Jesus had already taught His disciples as much in John 16:7, saying: 'Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.' Christ's outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a result of His Ascension to the right hand of the Father.

And not just that first outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The fact that Jesus pours out His Spirit today is a consequence of the Ascension. So, if we're looking for an outpouring of the Spirit, it is to our Ascended Saviour that we look.

And that the fullness of the Spirit depends on the Ascension means that the Ascension has a huge impact on our lives, our service to God, and our outreach.

(ii) Jesus Gives the Ascension Ministries
The Bible also tells us about another type of gift that is given to the Church as a result of the Ascension. 'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men' (Eph. 4:8), and these gifts are named in Eph. 4:11: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. That's why we call these ministries Ascension Ministries, as Christ has given them as gifts to His Church as a result of His Ascension.

So if the ministry gifts that Christ has placed in His Church are dependent on the Ascension, that means that the Ascension is vital to the life and ministry of the Church.

So, as a result of His Ascension, Jesus gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to His Church and gives gifts of ministries to the Church. That means that the gifts the church has been given for its expansion, protection and  edification all depend upon the Ascension of Christ.