I imagine that if most Christians are honest, the ascension of Jesus into heaven is one Bible story we wish hadn’t happened. After all, wouldn’t it be so much easier to convince people that Jesus had really risen from the dead if he still had an address in Nazareth and regularly appeared on TV? And aren’t Christians supposed to be eagerly looking forward to his return? So why have a festival dedicated to celebrating his leaving us in the first place?

In the Bible, the ascension isn’t treated as a sad reality or an embarrassing liability but a source of great joy and confidence. For the early Christians, it was proof that Jesus is no longer leading a local movement, confined to Galilee and Judaea. He is ruling the universe from God’s throne room in heaven. And, as our reading from Hebrews shows us today, it also means that the same Jesus who loves us and died for us is now pleading our cause before God in heaven.


The Ascension: Friends in High Places

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