Notes On Mark’s Gospel (146)

“On Your Mark” – Day 146

‘Taken Up’ (Chapter 16 Verses 9-20)

The ascension of our Lord into heaven (v19), is a glorious doctrine and carries with it some very useful out-workings. Notice what Mark says in the verse the “he was taken up.” Now any of the Biblical references to the Lord’s ascension all have passive verbs, he was taken or carried or received. See the implication? After having triumphantly accomplished everything the Father gave him to do, after completing the way of salvation for every believer, how could heaven possibly shut its doors to the Son of God? Not possible. The implication is, he did not force his way, barge back into heaven and take his place as right. Rather heaven threw its doors open wide. Can you imagine it? Those doors opening wide, a great fanfare of trumpets, as Jesus enters victoriously, and then silence as he sits down in his rightful place of power and authority given him by his Father (Philippians 2.6-11). You see angels are truly exalted beings, but they are created just like us. Not so the Son of God, he is uncreated, the eternal Son of the eternal Father, there never was a time when he was not and never shall be a time when he will not be. But Jesus has returned to heaven, not in the way he came from it. He has returned, as we say, with a human brow. There is now in the glory, glorified human flesh, the man Jesus has ascended into heaven bearing the glorified scars of Calvary. Because he became lower than the angels (Hebrews 1.4-7), a man, human flesh (1Timothy 3.16), and endured all that we have witnessed in Mark’s gospel, God has exalted him, made him both Lord and Christ (Acts 2.36), Prince and Saviour (Acts 5.31).

But what are the practical implications of this for us? This, he is there in heaven as our advocate (1John 2.1-2), taking up our case at the throne of heaven. The author of Hebrews tells us he sat down (Hebrews 1.1-3), well you do not sit down till your work is done, you get up, have breakfast, get the children ready for school, do the dusting, the hoovering, then and only then do you sit down and have your coffee break. When the work is done you sit down. So too with Jesus. He has finished the work on earth given him by his Father, he suffered once and will never suffer again, it is finished (Hebrews 7.27; 9.12; 9.26). That one sacrifice prevails for us over our every sin, past, present, and future. It means he prevails for us over even over our silly old selves. That position of power and authority gives him the prevailing power.

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