"When He had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven.
- Luke 24:50,51

Forty days after the resurrection of Christ the disciples witnessed the event that we're celebrating today, the Ascension of Jesus. He was carried up into heaven before their very eyes. No longer would they enjoy His visible presence among them. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. It was an exciting time as they were waiting for the promise of Jesus to be fulfilled, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Even though Jesus had ascended, they knew He was still with them. They could never forget His parting blessing. Jesus would soon send the Holy Spirit to indwell them. He would carry on a ministry of intercession for them "at the right hand of God". And the promise of His return would comfort them.

The human nature which Jesus took on to redeem us shares in the divine glory which the Son of God had from eternity. The firstfruits of our flesh and blood are in heaven. The firstfruits of His Spirit are in our hearts as the pledge of the glory we will enjoy in heaven. Today Jesus' work of salvation is completed, and He is sitting at God's right hand, where He has authority over heaven and earth.

Christian friends, Let us rejoice in the blessings our Savior left us when He returned to His Father. Someday we will depart from this earth, and our example and words may be the most precious blessing we can leave behind.

Your parting words, O LORD, give hope,
They're filled with promise, joy and love;
Help us to share what You have done
With Spirit power from above.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - Christ departed so that the Holy Spirit could be imparted.