On May 9 we celebrate the ascension of Jesus, a date marked out 40 days after his resurrection, when he departed from earth and returned bodily to heaven (Luke 24:50–53, Acts 1:9–11).
On first glance, Jesus rising up in the clouds may seem like something out of a Monty Python skit. It’s perhaps a little difficult to understand, maybe even a little bizarre to grasp, and even more difficult to apply. And yet the ascension of Jesus carries with it a full range of implications for our lives, something we discover in today’s episode of the Authors on the Line podcast.
I put two pastor-theologians on the line to explain. First up, Gerrit Scott Dawson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and author of Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation (P&R, 2004), a standard theological work on the topic.
And secondly, we hear from Jonny Woodrow, pastor, theologian, and director of the Porterbrook Network headquartered in the United Kingdom. He is the author of a fantastic little book just released under the title Ascension: Humanity in the Presence of God (Christian Focus, 2013), a book he co-authored with Tim Chester.