50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshipped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God." - Luke 24:50-53
We usually focus our Ascension Day messages around Acts 1:1-11 and there is nothing wrong with this. However, Luke also mentions the Ascension of Jesus in his Gospel and it is an interesting take on this glorious moment.
The significance of Jesus going back to his father is complex and equally crucial for the Church to understand. But just for today I want us to pause on this truth - one of the last things that Jesus did before he left the earth was BLESS his followers. It was while he was blessing them that he was taken into heaven.
This is such a powerful image for us to hold onto. Jesus' ascension was not the father "ripping" Jesus away from a timid group of people, but rather a planned moment of implying great trust in the disciples. A moment where God willingly hands over the mantle to us.
May we know Christ's blessing upon our lives as we serve the risen, ascended Lord.
Living in Grace