What is Ascension Day and why should I care?

Krista Gorman

Churches around the world will celebrate Ascension Day on May 25. Depending on the denomination you grew up in, you may have heard this word before, but don’t know what it means exactly. Ascension Day represents so much more than church traditions and religious responsibilities, it represents the gift of eternity. 

It is hard to see glimpses of eternity while we are feeding our kids, cleaning our house, or on that daily work grind. But God wants us to be reminded of the hope He has given us through the eternal life He has promised us.

Friends, don’t let your focus on your current circumstances and day-to-day responsibilities distract you from the most important reminder — our eternal hope is found in Jesus.

What Is the Ascension? 

After Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, He appeared to His disciples and others over 40 days. During this time, Jesus taught on the kingdom of God and the future of His ministry (Acts 1:1-3). 

Then, Jesus promised the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, saying, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5). 

After this, Jesus blesses his followers and ascends into heaven (Luke 24:50). As the disciples see Jesus rise up into heaven, a cloud hid Him from their sight. Then, two angels appeared and gave the disciples a promise: “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). 

Jesus didn’t forget about us when He got back to heaven. The Bible gives us insight into what Jesus has been up to since He left earth:

Why Hasn’t Jesus Come Back Yet?

Jesus does not see time the way we do here. 2 Peter 3:8 reminds us that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 

We will never know the exact time or date when Jesus will return. But we shouldn’t confuse what we consider slowness with laziness or disregard. Every day that Jesus doesn’t return is an opportunity for someone to be saved and join Him in heaven. 2 Peter goes on to remind us of this saying, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief” (2 Peter 3:9-10).  

Don’t lose hope when there is so much hope to be found in forever with Jesus! Every day, we are one step closer to spending eternity with Jesus. So let’s re-adjust our focus to the hope we have for an eternal life with Jesus, and “since [we] are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14). 

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