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Acts 1:9 - The ascension of Christ

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INTRODUCTION

1. Forty days following His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven...

a. Watched by His disciples, until a cloud received Him out of their sight - Ac 1:9

b. Which took place near Bethany, while Jesus blessed them - Lk 24:50-51

2. Following His ascension to heaven....

a. What happened next?

b. What's happening now?

[Jesus' ministry as Lord and Savior did not end with His life here on earth. Important to our faith and hope is understanding what happened after Jesus ascended to heaven, beginning with...]

I. THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST

A. PROPHESIED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT...

1. Despite efforts by rulers and kings against God's anointed - Ps 2:1-7; cf. Ac 4:23-28

2. Spoken of the Suffering Servant - Isa 52:13; 53:12

3. Seen in a vision by Daniel - Dan 7:13

-- The psalmist and the prophets foretold that the Messiah would be exalted

B. PROCLAIMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...

1. Jesus told disciples He was about to enter His glory - Lk 24:25-27

2. He is now seated at the right hand of God - Mk 16:19

3. He has been exalted to be Prince and Savior - Ac 2:33-35; 5:31

4. He has been given a name above every name - Php 2:9

5. He has obtained a more excellent name than the angels - He 1:3-4

-- Jesus and His apostles proclaimed the exaltation of Christ in glory

[So Jesus has been exalted in glory. But what is He doing at the right hand of God? Biding His time until His return? No! For there is much revealed about...]

II. THE REIGN OF CHRIST

A. PROPHESIED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT...

1. To rule the nations with a rod of iron - Ps 2:8-12

2. To rule in the midst of His enemies, till they are made His footstool - Ps 110:1-2,5-7

3. To have a government of peace, judgment, and justice - Isa 9:6-7

3. That all peoples, nations, languages, should serve Him - Dan 7:14

-- The psalmist and the prophets foretold that the Messiah would reign over His enemies

B. PROCLAIMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...

1. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth - Mt 28:18

2. He is above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name - Ep 1:20-22

3. Angels, authorities, and powers have been made subject to Him - 1Pe 3:22

4. He must reign until all enemies are put under His feet, including death - 1Co 15:24-26

5. He is the ruler over the kings of the earth - Re 1:5

6. He rules them with a rod of iron - Re 2:26-27

7. Thus He is King of kings, Lord of lords - Re 17:14; cf. 1Ti 6:14-15

-- Jesus and His apostles proclaimed the present reign of Christ from heaven!

[Just as God reigned over kingdoms of men (Dan 2:21; 4:17), so now His Son reigns in the midst of His enemies (Ps 110:1-2) until the last enemy is defeated (1Co 15:25-26). In the meantime, there is also...]

III. THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST

A. PROPHESIED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT...

1. To serve as a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek - Ps 110:4

2. To be a priest on His throne - Zec 6:13

-- The psalmist and the prophet foretold of One who would be both king and priest!

B. PROCLAIMED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT...

1. Jesus has become a merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:17-18

a. To make propitiation for the sins of the people

b. To aid those who are tempted

2. He is a sympathetic High Priest - He 4:14-16

a. Sympathizing with our weaknesses, having been tempted

b. Making it possible to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need

3. According to the order of Melchizedek - He 5:10; 6:19-20; 7:20-28; 8:1

a. Called by God

b. In the Presence of God beyond the veil

c. Made a priest by the oath of God

d. The surety of a better covenant

e. An unchangeable priesthood because He continues forever

f. Able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him

g. Who always lives to make intercession for them

h. A High Priest holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, higher than the heavens

i. Does not need to offer daily sacrifices, His own sacrifice offered once suffices

4. He is a better High Priest - He 8:1-2; 9:11-15; 10:11-14,19-22

a. Seated at the right hand of God

b. Minister of the sanctuary and true tabernacle erected by the Lord, not man

c. Having obtained eternal redemption, even for those under the first covenant

d. Offering the promise of eternal inheritance

e. Sitting at the right hand of God, till His enemies are made His footstool

f. By one offering perfecting forever those who those being sanctified

g. Giving us boldness to draw near to God with assurance of faith

-- Jesus is truly the perfect and better High Priest for us in heaven!

CONCLUSION

1. Thus we have seen that with the ascension of Jesus...

a. He was highly exalted above all things in heaven and earth

b. He began His reign as King and ministry as High Priest

c. Thus we have nothing to fear, and everything to hope for! - cf. Ro 8:31-38

2. Jesus will one day return; until then, what will you do...?

a. Freely volunteer in the day of His power! - cf. Ps 110:3

b. Submit to His kingly authority as Lord, obey the gospel! - cf. Ac 2:36-38

c. Enjoy the blessings with Him as your High Priest in heaven! - cf. 1Jn 1:7-9

If we do not, then as His enemy we will eventually be crushed under His feet, and experience His wrath for having despised God's grace when we had ample opportunity... - cf. Ro 2:4-11; 2Th 1:7-10

Acts 1:1-9

1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up [to heaven,] after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over [a period of] forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," [He said,] "you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

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