and while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “men of galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” [acts 1:10-11]
Jesus’ ascension holds so much truth about his incarnation. Christ becoming man to bring us to God.
and now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that i had with you before the world existed. [john 17:5]
before the world began, the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, dwelt in perfect unity and joy in each other, all with no physical form. for eternity past, they were equal in essence, importance, holiness, and glory. that glory and joy they shared in each other spilled over into the created world we see around us. and before this world ever fell and became subjected to futility, our God had already put in place a plan to reconcile it all. to make all things new.
but this plan required much of God. probably more than we will ever know. the Father gave his Son, putting him on a cross at the hands of sinful men. then because of the sin that Jesus bore for us, the Father turned his back for a time, breaking the communion and the perfect joy and unity they shared. Jesus, being equal with the Father, gave up the glory that he had with his Father and came to earth wrapped in weakness, perfectly fighting that weakness his whole life, without sin, and perfectly fulfilling the requirement to pay for our sin.
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [philippians 2:6-8]
Jesus gave up so much to put on flesh! but in our passage here in acts we see that he returned to His Father’s side still clothed in flesh! in his obedience to the Father, he chose to put on flesh for all eternity! he came in flesh as a baby, ascended as the God-Man, and will return the same way, but with full glory restored, to pour out his wrath on sin, to right every wrong, and to bring his children home!
he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? [romans 8:32]
and this is why Jesus took on flesh. he did not come out of duty, but delight. he was not ashamed to call us brothers because he delighted in the Father’s plan to save us. [heb 2:11] he delights to be our Great High Priest. he delights to make intercession for us. he did the hardest thing because he delights in US!
therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [philippians 2:9-11]
we can rest assured that Jesus’ full glory has been restored! and we don’t have to stand, gazing into heaven waiting for him to move. Jesus IS on the move. he is moving through the Spirit within us. and he will return soon. until then, we’re called to get to work! time is short, the mission is clear, and our Great King Jesus has a name to be proclaimed!