“O Lord, Thou hast, ascended On high in might to reign: Captivity Thou leadest A captive in Thy train.”
Thus sang the Church of the old dispensation in prophecy concerning her promised Christ. For her prophets stood on the mountain tops where the light of God’s revelation shone in their faces. And coming down to her, these prophets spoke of the promised Christ, His coming in the flesh, His sufferings and the glory that would follow.
Thus sings the Church of the new dispensation, for she stood on the Mount Olivet that day when the apostles were “gazing up into heaven.” Through the eyes of the apostles she saw Jesus taken up into heaven. For they saw Him ascend before their very eyes. They saw the cloud that took Him up out of their sight. They saw Him transferred out of the earthly into the heavenly, out of the range of human sight into the great Beyond, out of the world of time into the world of eternity, out of things present into the things to come.
They had seen Him when He walked among them in the flesh. They had been eye-witnesses of His death and resurrection.
They knew that they would see Him no more. Not until He would come with the clouds in judgment. They knew that He was gone into glory. And they returned to Jerusalem rejoicing.
Christ is gone into heaven.
Years before, Enoch, who walked with God in the evil days before the Flood, had gone into heaven. Me was no more, for God took him to heaven. Though they looked for him, he could not be found, for God had translated him bodily from the earthly into the heavenly.
Also, Elijah, the lone witness for Jehovah among an apostate Israel, was taken with a whirlwind to heaven without tasting death. God’s horses and chariots of fire swept him out of a world of iniquity and transferred him into his awaited reward.
Both Enoch and Elijah, with the souls of all the saints about the throne were waiting for the coming of Christ into His kingdom. They were there on the promise that Christ would open the way for them into heaven.
Stephen saw Christ in His glory, even while the mob stoned him into heaven. Saul saw Him Whom he was persecuting, Who called him as a chosen vessel to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. And the apostle John saw Him in His visions on the island of Patmos.
All of which is given to assure us that Christ is gone into heaven.
The wonder of Ascension Day is no less marvelous than that of Christmas, Good-Friday and Easter. God came into the likeness of our sinful flesh. God shed His blood on the cross for our sins. God arose from the dead. God is into glory. Surely great is the mystery of godliness.
We in Him. for the Son of God did all that in our human nature. He was born in our flesh, suffered in our flesh, died and arose in our flesh, and has taken our flesh into glory.
He is our Forerunner, Who opened the way for us into glory. He is our Advocate Who intercedes for us before the Father. He is our Surety, Who is always with us in His Spirit, Who dwells in us and draws us unto Himself that we may be where He is. He is our Lord Who is coming with the clouds of the heavens to make all things new.
He is gone into heaven.
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, ..the Lord mighty in battle, the Lord of hosts. He is the King of glory!”