Rethinking the Ascension of Jesus

What is the gospel? We think of it as being essentially about the Cross of Christ, or if we are a bit more magnanimous we include the Resurrection in there.  But according to the presentation of the gospel in Acts 2:22-36 the Ascension is also included, among other aspects of the work of Christ. In Acts 2:33-34 Peter declares;

33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
35     until I make your enemies your footstool.’

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Looking to understand the Ascension of Jesus better? Gerrit Scott Dawson’s Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation … is one of the best on the market.

jesus-ascension

“The book presents the Ascension as public truth, examining questions such as when did Jesus ascend – and how, where did he go, with what kind of body and into what kind of space? It discusses the nature of Jesus’ victory, how it has been challenged, how it has been understood at different times in history, and how it relates to his second coming.

The author examines the relevance of the doctrine for personal spiritual life: our union with Christ, Jesus praying for us, worship, and our own prayers.

He goes on to consider living in God’s kingdom, the tension between waiting for the kingdom and working for it now, suffering, humanisation, and the church and the world today.

The book approaches the Ascension thematically, making it a useful teaching tool. Its themes arise from the categories in which the Church Fathers employed the doctrine. Gerrit Dawson shows the Ascension to be a vital key to understanding in a fresh way the person and work of Christ, union with Christ, the mission of the church in the world, Christian identity and spiritual theology.”

Praise for Jesus Ascended:
Very highly recommended for both pastors and theologians who want to have a faith grounded in the continuing reality of the incarnation in the ascension of Jesus.‘ Andrew Purves, Princeton Theological Seminary

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