Day of Ascension

by Pastor Pete Vander Beek:

Matthew 6:10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Hebrews 4:14-15 since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

“On earth as it is in heaven” is such an important phrase in the prayer Jesus taught us. Past Thursday was Ascension day on our Christian Calendars. We pause to consider that Jesus ascended, bodily, in the flesh, through the skies, back to heaven, having accomplished his vision and mission on earth. We describe it as: God had come to us, lived as one of us, faced the same challenges to maintaining relationship with the Holy One that we do, and succeeded where all other humanity fails. And it was not an easy journey! To be the most innocent of all wrong, and yet quietly accept torture and death, all for the sake of the rest of humanity… well, I don’t think I could do it, could you? 

And our gratitude at the magnitude of his love deepens.

Jesus lived with the way of the Kingdom of God in view, not according to the ways of the Kingdoms of this world. This is hugely important to understand! This is why I’m posting my messages on how that Kingdom works on the YouTube channel.  

Worldly ways had corrupted the religious understanding of the faith Jesus was born into, and continues to do so for us today. Whenever we hear Jesus speaking harshly, it was when addressing corrupted and blind spirituality and the resulting misguided religiosity. 

Jesus offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice so all things could begin to be restored. When the day comes that the ways of the Kingdom of God are lived by all humanity, the restoration will be complete. Until then, we — hopefully with some desperation — pray that things on earth may come to be as they already are in heaven, in the Kingdom of God, with the first person having entered in the flesh, bodily, and receiving perpetual praise (Revelation 5:6-13, especially verse 12). What happens in heaven is what we try to live out in our collective and individual worship here on earth.

Until that restoration is complete, we do have an intervener in heaven, who understands our weakness, who died to show his love, and to open another way back into relationship with the Father. Until that restoration is complete, we are called to strengthen that relationship with the help of our intervener and the Holy Spirit, so that the Kingdom of God may come to earth, and more and more, things on earth will be like the way things are in Heaven.