English-speaking church in Eindhoven

Ascension of the Lord!

Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day after his resurrection from the dead. “He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9). During these forty days, the risen Lord met with his disciples now and then and assured them that he was with them, even though they couldn’t see him physically all the time during this period.

What does his ascension mean then? Has he left us completely? Has he disappeared? While the ascension teaches us many things, it certainly doesn’t mean that Jesus has left us. No, not at all. In the farewell speech recorded in John’s gospel, Jesus taught them to remain in him as he remains in them. He is the vine and we are his branches. Jesus, in his priestly prayer recorded in John 17, talks at least three times about how he and the Father are in us, just as the Father and he are in each other: “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us” (John 17:21). Despite his physical absence, his presence within us is clearly taught in the farewell speech.

Furthermore, on the road to Emmaus, the risen Lord revealed himself when he broke the bread. Yes, every time we break bread, we not only share the body of Christ but also experience his divine presence among us. Before his ascension, Jesus promised his disciples, saying, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Therefore, the question is not whether his divine presence is with us or not. The question is whether we recognize his presence and live a responsible life in line with his divine presence among us. May the ascended Lord help us realize his presence with us all the time! God bless!