Christianity Beliefs: Jesus Christ’s Ascension Explained

Written by Wayne Crowther
October 3, 2023

Jesus’ ascension marks the end of his earthly ministry as the ascended Christ, signifying his return to heaven and exaltation as the Messiah. This event followed his resurrection appearances to the apostles. This event holds immense significance in the Christian faith. Christians believe that through his ascension, Jesus becomes their high priest, forever present in the heavenly realms, alongside the apostles, angels, and the messiah. This belief is rooted in the concept of atonement. It is a pivotal moment that solidifies Jesus’ role as the messiah, the ascended Christ, the great high priest, and the reigning King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The ascension of Jesus serves as a turning point, bridging the gap between his earthly ministry as the messiah and his eternal reign as the great high priest in the temple, bringing atonement. It is a step towards fulfilling God’s plan for salvation, with the messiah as the high priest, through the ritual of atonement, and establishing His kingdom on earth. For believers, this event brings hope, assurance, and a renewed sense of purpose in the context of atonement, messiah, feast, and ritual.

As we delve into the significance of Jesus’ ascension, we will explore its impact on individuals and the age-old teachings of the messiah, atonement, science, and sacrifice passed down through generations. Join us on this journey as we uncover the profound meaning behind the transformative period of Christianity, focusing on the messiah, atonement, ritual, and sacrifice.

Importance of Jesus’ Ascension in Christianity

The ascension of Jesus Christ holds immense significance in the Christian faith, as it symbolizes the atonement, ritual, and sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity. This event is not only a matter of faith but also aligns with scientific explanations of the spiritual realm. It serves as a powerful affirmation of his identity as the Son of God and the promised Messiah, without any sacrifice or reply. It demonstrates God’s ultimate power and authority over all creation through sacrifice. Furthermore, Christians perceive the ascension as a fulfillment of numerous prophecies from the Old Testament, highlighting the sacrifice Jesus made for humanity.

Affirmation of Jesus’ Identity

Jesus’ ascension solidifies his divine nature and establishes him as the Son of God, highlighting his sacrifice. It signifies that he is not merely a prophet or teacher but rather the chosen one who came to fulfill God’s plan for salvation through sacrifice. Through his ascension, Jesus returns to his rightful place at the right hand of God, demonstrating his exalted status and authority.

Display of God’s Power and Authority

The ascension also showcases God’s unrivaled power and dominion over all creation. By raising Jesus from death and lifting him up into heaven, it reveals that nothing is impossible for God. This event serves as a testimony to believers that their faith is grounded in an almighty and sovereign God who can conquer even death itself.

Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies

Christianity views the ascension as a fulfillment of various prophecies found in the Old Testament scriptures. These prophecies foretold that a Messiah would come to establish God’s kingdom on earth, bring salvation to humanity, and reign with divine authority. The ascension validates these prophetic promises by demonstrating that Jesus has indeed fulfilled them through his life, death, resurrection, and ultimate return to heaven.

Reasons Why Christians Believe in Jesus’ Ascension

The ascension of Jesus Christ holds great significance in the Christian faith. It is a belief that is deeply rooted in the teachings and accounts of his disciples. Here are some reasons why Christians believe in Jesus’ ascension:

Eyewitness Accounts from His Disciples

One of the primary reasons why Christians believe in Jesus’ ascension is the existence of eyewitness accounts from his disciples. According to biblical texts, after his resurrection, Jesus spent forty days appearing to his followers, providing them with undeniable proof of his resurrection and affirming his divine nature. These firsthand experiences were witnessed by individuals who had spent significant time with Jesus during his earthly ministry. Their testimonies serve as compelling evidence for the reality of Jesus’ ascension.

Widely Accepted and Taught by Early Christian Community

Another reason for believing in Jesus’ ascension lies in its widespread acceptance and teaching within the early Christian community. The concept of Jesus ascending into heaven was not a later addition or an isolated belief but rather a fundamental aspect of early Christian doctrine. The apostles, who were entrusted with spreading the Gospel message, consistently taught about Jesus’ ascension as part of their mission to share the good news with others. This widespread acceptance among early Christians lends credibility to the belief in Jesus’ ascension.

Belief in Resurrection Supports Ascension

The belief in Jesus’ resurrection serves as a foundation for the subsequent belief in his ascension. For Christians, the resurrection signifies that death has been conquered and that eternal life is possible through faith in Christ. In this context, it makes sense that if Jesus rose from the dead, he would ascend into heaven to be reunited with God the Father. The resurrection provides assurance that what was promised regarding eternal life will come to fruition through Christ’s ascension.

Different Interpretations of Jesus’ Ascension

The ascension of Jesus Christ is a significant event in Christian theology, symbolizing his return to heaven after his resurrection. However, there are varying interpretations of this event among different Christian denominations and theologians. Let’s explore some of these interpretations and the theological perspectives surrounding the ascension.

Physical Ascent or Symbolic Representation?

One point of divergence lies in how the ascension is understood – as a physical ascent into heaven or as a symbolic and metaphorical representation.

Some Christians interpret the ascension as a literal bodily departure of Jesus from Earth into heaven. They believe that Jesus physically rose up into the sky until he disappeared from sight, ascending to be with God. This interpretation emphasizes the physicality and tangibility of the event.

On the other hand, there are those who view the ascension as more symbolic or metaphorical in nature. They see it as a way to convey spiritual truths rather than an actual physical occurrence. According to this perspective, Jesus’ ascension represents his exaltation and glorification by returning to his heavenly realm.

Theological Perspectives on How It Occurred

Another aspect that varies among different theological perspectives is how exactly the ascension occurred.

Some hold that Jesus’ ascent was accomplished solely through his own power, emphasizing his divine nature. According to this belief, he transcended earthly limitations and returned to his rightful place alongside God.

Others emphasize that Jesus’ ascent was facilitated by God’s power or intervention, highlighting both his humanity and divinity working together harmoniously. In this view, God played an active role in raising Jesus up to heaven.

Denominational Emphases

Different Christian denominations may place emphasis on various aspects or implications of the ascension based on their specific beliefs and traditions.

For example, within Catholicism, great significance is placed on Mary’s presence during the ascension. The assumption is that she witnessed the event, further emphasizing her role as the Mother of God.

In Protestant traditions, the emphasis may be more on Jesus’ exaltation and his ongoing work as the mediator between God and humanity. The ascension is seen as a pivotal moment in establishing his authority and reign over all creation.

Exploring the Biblical Accounts of Jesus’ Ascension

The ascension of Jesus Christ is a significant event in Christian beliefs, symbolizing His return to heaven after completing His earthly work. The Gospel of Luke provides a detailed description of this momentous occasion, while the book of Acts also records key aspects surrounding Jesus’ ascent into heaven on a cloud.

The Gospel of Luke: A Detailed Account

In the Gospel of Luke, we find an elaborate narrative describing the ascension of Jesus. According to Luke’s account, after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and provided them with further teaching about the kingdom of God. He then led them out to Bethany, where He blessed them before being taken up into heaven.

Luke’s account emphasizes both the physical and spiritual dimensions of Jesus’ ascension. It portrays Jesus as physically rising from the earth and ascending into the sky until He disappears from sight. This imagery highlights the miraculous nature of this event and underscores its significance for believers.

Acts: Recording Key Aspects

The book of Acts also offers valuable insights into the ascension of Jesus Christ. In Acts 1:9-11, we read that as Jesus was blessing His disciples, He was lifted up and a cloud took Him out of their sight. Two men in white robes then appeared and told the apostles that just as they had seen Him taken up into heaven, so would He return in the same manner.

This account reinforces the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ ascension and foreshadows His promised return in glory. It serves as a reminder for Christians to eagerly await His second coming while continuing to fulfill their mission on earth.

Physical and Spiritual Dimensions

Both accounts emphasize not only the physical act but also its spiritual significance. The ascension signifies Jesus’ exaltation and enthronement at God’s right hand—a position from which He continues to intercede for believers as their advocate before God. It marks the completion of His earthly work, including His sacrificial death on the cross and His triumph over sin and death.

The ascension also holds theological implications for Christians. It affirms Jesus’ divinity, highlighting that He is both fully human and fully divine. It serves as a reminder of the hope believers have in their own future resurrection and eternal life with Christ.

The Mystery of the Ascension

While these biblical accounts provide valuable insights into Jesus’ ascension, they do not offer a comprehensive understanding of all its intricacies. The ascension remains a mystery that surpasses human comprehension. As with many aspects of faith, there are elements that transcend our understanding and require us to embrace them with trust and belief.

Understanding the Impact of Jesus’ Ascension on Christian Beliefs

The ascension of Jesus Christ holds a significant place in Christian beliefs, shaping their worldview and faith. Let’s delve into the impact it has had on Christianity.

Solidifying Belief in Christ’s Divinity and Eternal Reign with God

Jesus’ ascension solidifies the belief that he is divine and reigns eternally with God. As Christians, we believe that Jesus, after his resurrection, ascended to heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of God. This event affirms his authority and power as the Son of God.

This aspect of Jesus’ ascension assures believers that there is more to life than what meets the eye. It reinforces their trust in Jesus as their Savior and Lord, knowing that he is not limited by earthly constraints but rules over all creation from his heavenly throne.

The Ascended Christ as an Advocate and Intercessor

Another crucial aspect of Jesus’ ascension is that it establishes him as an advocate and intercessor for believers before God. In other words, he represents us before the Father, pleading our case and mediating on our behalf.

Imagine having someone who understands your struggles and challenges advocating for you in every situation. That’s precisely what Jesus does for those who put their faith in him. He stands before God as our advocate, ensuring that we are heard and loved by our Heavenly Father.

Connection between Pentecost and Jesus’ Departure

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is often connected to Jesus’ departure through his ascension. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised his disciples that he would send them a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who would empower them to carry out his mission on earth.

True to his word, after ascending to heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon his followers at Pentecost. This event marked a significant turning point for Christianity, as the Holy Spirit empowered believers to spread the message of Jesus’ love and salvation to the ends of the earth.

The connection between Pentecost and Jesus’ ascension highlights the divine plan unfolding in history. It demonstrates God’s faithfulness in equipping his people with the necessary tools and resources to fulfill their calling.

The Role of Jesus’ Ascension in Salvation and Redemption

Jesus’ ascension plays a crucial role in the beliefs of Christianity, particularly in terms of salvation and redemption. Let’s delve into the significance of Jesus’ ascension and how it impacts believers.

Completing Christ’s Redemptive Work

The ascension of Jesus serves to complete his redemptive work on Earth. By ascending to heaven, Jesus secured believers access to God’s presence. This means that through faith in Jesus as the Messiah, individuals can have their sins forgiven and be reconciled with God.

Paving the Way for the Birth of the Church

Another vital aspect of Jesus’ ascension is its role in paving the way for the birth of the Church. After ascending to heaven, Jesus sent forth the Holy Spirit upon his disciples during Pentecost. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit empowered believers and established them as a community—the Church.

Ongoing Work of Salvation

Christianity teaches that through his ascension, Jesus continues his work of salvation. As believers, we trust that Jesus acts as our mediator between humanity and God. He intercedes on our behalf, providing forgiveness for our sins and granting us eternal life.

The Significance of Salvation

Salvation lies at the core of Christian beliefs, representing deliverance from sin and its consequences. Through faith in Jesus Christ and his redemptive work—his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection—believers receive salvation from their sinful nature.

The Role of Atonement

Atonement is another essential concept tied to salvation within Christianity. It refers to making amends or reconciling for wrongdoing. Christians believe that through his sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus provided atonement for humanity’s sins. His ascension further solidifies this act by ensuring believers’ access to God’s forgiveness.

Understanding Mediation

Jesus serves as a mediator between humanity and God, bridging the gap caused by sin. As a mediator, Jesus advocates for believers, interceding on their behalf before God. His ascension allows for this ongoing mediation, assuring believers of God’s grace and forgiveness.

Embracing the Profound Meaning of Jesus’ Ascension

We have seen that it holds immense importance for believers and shapes their understanding of salvation and redemption. The reasons why Christians believe in Jesus’ ascension vary, but they all point to its transformative power in their lives.

Understanding the impact of Jesus’ ascension on Christian beliefs allows us to delve deeper into our own faith journey. It reminds us that just as Jesus ascended to heaven, we too can rise above our earthly limitations and strive for a higher purpose. His ascension is a beacon of hope, guiding us towards a life filled with love, compassion, and forgiveness.

As you continue on your spiritual path, I encourage you to reflect upon the meaning of Jesus’ ascension in your own life. Consider how it can inspire you to embrace a more profound connection with your faith and live out its teachings every day. Let the knowledge of his ascent empower you to overcome challenges and be a source of light in this world.


How does believing in Jesus’ ascension impact my daily life?

Believing in Jesus’ ascension can have a transformative effect on your daily life. It reminds you that there is something greater beyond this earthly existence and encourages you to live with purpose and meaning. It inspires acts of love, kindness, and forgiveness towards others as you strive to embody the teachings of Christ.

Are there different interpretations of Jesus’ ascension within Christianity?

Yes, there are varying interpretations among different Christian denominations regarding the specifics of Jesus’ ascension. Some focus more on its literal aspects, while others emphasize its symbolic or spiritual significance. However, regardless of these differences, the belief in Jesus’ ascension remains central across Christianity.

Does Jesus’ ascension play a role in salvation?

Yes, Jesus’ ascension is closely tied to the concept of salvation in Christianity. It signifies his exaltation and reign at the right hand of God, interceding for believers. Through his ascension, Jesus opens the way for humanity to be reconciled with God and receive eternal life.

How can I deepen my understanding of Jesus’ ascension?

To deepen your understanding of Jesus’ ascension, you can engage in further study of biblical accounts, explore theological writings on the topic, and seek guidance from spiritual leaders or mentors within your faith community. Prayer and reflection can provide personal insights into its significance for your own spiritual journey.

Is there a connection between Jesus’ ascension and the Holy Spirit?

Yes, there is a connection between Jesus’ ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After his ascent to heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within believers as a guide, comforter, and source of divine power. The Holy Spirit empowers Christians to live out their faith and continue Christ’s work on earth.

About the Author

Wayne Crowther

With more than a decade of experience as a Christian pastor, Wayne Crowther offers profound insights and spiritual guidance through his blog contributions. His unwavering commitment to our congregation and his deep-rooted faith make his words a wellspring of wisdom, comfort, and inspiration for all.

In his role as our pastor and a prolific writer, Wayne skillfully bridges the gap between our spiritual community and the digital realm, sharing profound insights into the Christian journey and the timeless truths that underpin our faith.

Delve into Wayne’s articles to enrich your spiritual connection and deepen your understanding of our Christian faith. Join him and our congregation on this transformative spiritual odyssey.

Wayne Crowther Abundant Life Church Pastor