The Feast of the Lord’s Ascension
May 29, 2003
INTRODUCTION: Picture in your mind the glorious Ascension of Jesus Christ. As He ascends into heaven in the presence of His disciples the conquering Savior lifts His hands to bless us. What would that say to us this night?
I. Christ’s uplifted hands were nail-marked hands, which testified to His having suffered as the Scriptures had predicted. Jesus says in Vs. 46 of our text: “Thus it was written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day” All of the Scriptures have been fulfilled. Jesus has successfully completed every prophecy.
A. The Scriptures make it clear that Christ suffered for our sins. 1 Peter 2:24 reminds us: “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross that we might die to sin and live unto righteousness for by His stripes we are healed.” One righteous man completing one righteous and unselfish act completed your redemption in time and space.
B. The Scriptures make it clear that He and He alone was able to suffer sin’s punishment for us. 1 Peter 1:18-19 remind us: “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” Christ has accounted for all sin. There is not one sin left. He is the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world. He is the world’s redeemer. He is our Savior and King.
C. Peter will say again in 1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit...” When Christ died all sin died. When He arose triumphantly from the grave He gave us a guarantee of our eternal destiny. He now has gone to prepare a place for us. The glorious Ascension of Jesus Christ assures us that we have a destiny with Christ in glory.
Transition: Jesus’ hands are lifted – lifted to bless us, lifted to remind us that we are the redeemed children of God.
II. The nail scared hands of Jesus, lifted up tell us that He, the risen Lord, as made an effective sacrifice for sin.
A. On the basis of His sacrifice and glorious resurrection the forgiveness of sins can now be proclaimed to all. In our text Jesus remind us in Vs. 47: ”...and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations – beginning from Jerusalem”
The New Testament church started in Jerusalem but they didn’t remain there. They went into Judea, Samaria and to the utter most regions of the earth proclaiming a simple message of Christ’s resurrection. Yet, it was a powerful message for it literally turned the world upside down.
B. As you and I daily confess our sins, we can be sure that His sacrifice will cleans us from all sin. This is what we read in 1 John 1:7: “...but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” This is a message the world still needs to hear. This is a message you and I need to hear each and every day. The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from all sin.
CONCLUSION: The Ascended Lord has accomplished for us the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. In Jesus Christ all sin is forgiven period! In Jesus Christ all is well, all is well.