Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Pastor James C. Johnson with NorthStone Baptist Church joins us to talk about Ascension Thursday being observed this week. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Chad: This Thursday is “Ascension Thursday”– what is that?
Guest: Ascension Thursday is the day that Jesus was taken up into the clouds at the Mount of Olives. It’s the day that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come and indwell His disciples. It’s also the day that the angels proclaimed that Jesus would return in the same manner in which He ascended.
Chad: How does this miracle bring Jesus story full circle?
Guest: The ascension is the day we say, “thank you Jesus for a job well done, and a mission accomplished.”
It’s Jesus’ coronation, exaltation, and His re-enthronement.
It’s at the ascension when Jesus returns to be in the presence of His Father being seated at His right hand.
It’s at the ascension when Jesus has His full power again and His enemies are His footstool.
It’s also at the ascension when Jesus has a fresh purpose. His purpose on the earth was to “seek and to save those which are lost” and to “give his life a ransom for many.” But, after the ascension, His purpose is both prayer and preparation. He is interceding in prayer on behalf of His disciples and He is preparing mansions for those who will one day be in heaven.
Chad: What are the lessons we can take from Jesus’ final act in human form on Earth?
Guest: Two primary lessons: Before Jesus left the earth, He told His disciples, “to love one another.” And secondly, He explained that the Holy Spirit would come and His disciples would be witnesses. We need to be loving one another as believers and witnessing to others of the love of God.
Chad: What do you like most about this story?
Guest: I like what the ascension does to the devil. The ascension was a part of the “bruising of the head of the serpent.”
It means, Lucifer, you lose! Satan, you are a defeated foe!
And, when we are tempted to sin, we can know that we too can have victory over the devil and whatever temptation is presented because of the ascension.
The ascension represents a major part of the spiritual victory the believers have over the devil.