Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Ascends to God’s Right Hand (Mark 16:19)
May 23, 2023
Ahead His miraculous salvation work, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ascended to God’s right hand. In scripted in the gospels of Mark and Luke, “He led them out as far as Bethany, so then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. They worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. They were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” (Luke 24:50-51, Mark 16:19)
Pope Shenouda III once explained on their homily about the mystery of Lord Jesus Christ’s Ascension saying, “By the Ascension of the Lord, we mean His Bodily Ascension. Because in His divinity, He is everywhere, He does not ascend nor descend. Therefore, in the Liturgy of Saint Gregory we say “And You ascended into the heavens in the body…” This ascension is evidence that His Glorified Body is not subject to the earth’s gravitational laws. It is also evidence of His Divinity. He ascended before His disciples as they were looking. This scene strengthened their faith because the Lord not only resurrected using His Divine power, but He also ascended into heaven in front of them.”
Father Yohanna Meshreki stated two points to explain the Lord’s Ascension in his sermon:-
- The Ascension of the Lord Jesus only pertains to His Humanity not His divinity, meaning that the act of ascension was only related to the human nature of Christ, while the Divine nature does not move from one place to another. Of course we know that the Lord Jesus is ubiquitous by His divinity, on earth and in heaven, as He also confirmed this fact in His conversation with Nicodemus: “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven”(John 3:13). That is to say, Ascension was an act to glorify and elevate the human nature, but the Divine nature does not need to be lift up or to move from one place to another. We should also bear in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ is one person; where His Divinity is united with His humanity, and that His divinity has never parted from His humanity for a moment or a twinkling of an eye, neither before His Ascension nor after and forever.
- It is based on the first, is that when we recognize that the human nature of Christ is the one that ascended and was elevated to be at the right hand of the Father, it means that when we unite with Him we can ascend with Him to be at the right hand of the Father as well. Here, we need to understand the meaning of the right hand of the Father. We know that God is a boundless spirit, He has no left or right, top or bottom, nor does he have front or back, but the “right hand” in the Biblical language always indicate power, righteousness and glory. The Ascension of the Lord Jesus and His sitting at the right hand of the Father indicates that He has rested, while carrying the human nature in the Glory and power of God. This means that by abiding in Chris, we become qualified to rest at the right hand of the Father as well, meaning that we live in the power and glory of the children of God.
Regarding Father Yohanna’s conclusion, we must not think Lord Jesus’s Ascension in a physical sense. His divinity is not characterized by the human’s body. But, we need to acknowledge the body He wore to crave the path of salvation is for us humans to be Christian in Him. We shall bare all the pain He endured on the Calvary and upon the cross as well, so that we may arise in His resurrection and ascension.
May God have mercy on us, Amen!