“The Value of Christ’s Ascension” Book Review by David P. Craig
Most Christians can tell you the value of the incarnation, atonement, or resurrection of Christ. However, on the other hand most Christians would be hard pressed to offer much insight to the practical values related to Christ’s ascension.
In this essay Keller explains how Jesus in His ascension provides great value to His subjects as the reigning Prophet, Priest, and King. In between His resurrection and His return to earth – Christ is currently alive and well and currently reigning in the present.
Keller discusses what the ascension means for us theologically and practically.
Theologically Christ’s ascension means that Jesus’ ascension is not simply Jesus’ return from earth to Heaven, but it is a “new enthronement for Jesus, bringing a new relationship with us and with the whole world.” Jesus as King is currently actively engaged in His mediatorial work throughout the earth. Jesus is directing a “cosmic transition plan–one that will bring about the new heavens and a new earth.”
Practically, Christ’s ascension means three things: (1) Jesus is available to us now twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for intimate communication and loving fellowship. Keller writes: “Because Christ is ascended we can know his presence, actually speaking to us, actually teaching us, actually pouring out his love out into our hearts–through the Holy Spirit”; (2) Jesus is the Ultimate Sovereign Authority over the universe. Keller explains, “Jesus controls all things for the church, and therefore you can face the world with peace in your heart…To say that Jesus is making everything work together for your good means that not only are bad things a part of his plan but also little things”; (3) The ascension of Christ means that Jesus guarantees that we can know that we are forgiven, accepted and delighted in by God the Father.
Keller’s short essay is theologically rich, preeminently encouraging, and extremely practical. This short read will give you an appreciation for the practical ramifications of Jesus’ ascension, but more importantly it will cause you to worship Him on the spot for ascending to Heaven for your benefit and His glory.