The real meaning of the Ascension is the rising action to a higher level or top position. It has been derived from the word “ascending”. In a religious community, the definition of Ascension is different. It means that the ascent of Jesus Christ into heaven on a fortieth day after the Resurrection.
Ascension Of Jesus
First of all, the faith in the Ascension of Jesus does not only belongs to the Christianity religion but also belongs to the Muslim religion. Nowadays, people are not giving attention to ascension faith. It deserves to get your attention if you belong to Christianity culture. I am going to share some facts about the ascension of Jesus for those people who still unconvinced. So, what does the bible say about the ascension of Jesus? The complete story of Jesus’ Ascension is described in Luke 24:49, Mark 16:19, Acts 1:3-9, and Matthew 28:16-20.
I’m trying to merge these statements together to get a better understanding of the ascension of Jesus. (Acts 1:2-9) We locate that after His resurrection, Jesus appeared a few times to His devotees and others. In fact this time, He addressed them further about the kingdom of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit, for whom they were to wait. (Acts 1:9-11) Following 40 days of these appearances, He was taken up to paradise for the last time. As the followers watched Him go, two angels appeared and declared to them that just as He ascended to heaven, Christ would return in glory.
The Ascension of Jesus is a privilege of the promised fulfillment. At the last day, Jesus will return by physically and visibly as He went to heaven. It will not be a “spiritual” or metaphorical ascension, but an actual coming of His physical appearance. No one is going to deny it.
Feast Of The Ascension
Ausutine of Hippo is one of the early church fathers said that the Feast of Ascension started with the Apostles. It might be one of the historical feasts practiced by the Church. The practice of feast of the ascension started on AD 68. There is no written proof. However, the celebration of Ascension Day can be seen as Augustine’s time in the fourth century all over the world. Churches are arranging ceremonies on Ascension Day Feasts from several years. They organize parades, procession, prayer vigils, Catholic masses, and speeches for the church visitors.
Purpose Of Forty Days
Basically, the Feast of Ascension is one of the important Christian festivals that is celebrated all over the world. Jesus was resurrected 40 days before ascension. Luke informs us that Jesus presented Himself alive after His resurrection to the apostles. Luke also disclosed the myth that why Jesus Christ stayed 40 days after His resurrection? In those 40 days, Jesus addressed His disciples relating to the kingdom of God. I want to share some Bible verses to explain the purpose of forty days.
The First purpose for these forty days was to command the disciples. Clearly, the followers did not understand many things about the Messiah and His kingdom before His demise and Jesus could now address more deeply about the cross and its relationship to the kingdom of God. We have not given any interest in the kingdom Jesus educated them. Well, Paul’s announcement in Ephesians may enable us to understand these things: “How that by disclosure He made known to me the secret, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets as well.
The second reason may have been to correct some misunderstandings of the devotees. Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8).
What Is Ascension Day?
Ascension day is celebrated all over the world on a Thursday after the 39 days of Easter Sunday and ten days before the Pentecost (Whitsun). It is also known as the feast of the Ascension. At the day of ascension, there is no federal public holiday in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Government offices, organizations, educational institutions, and public transit systems run to their usual schedules.
What Happened On Ascension Day?
Ascension Thursday is one of the oldest Christian festivals. It has been celebrated from the year 68 CE. While the first written evidence of the ascension day feast told us that the celebration has been started in 385 AD. As indicated by the New Testament in the Bible, Jesus Christ met a few times with his followers during the 40 days after his resurrection to address them on how to carry out his lessons. It is the faith that on the 40th day He took his disciples to the Mount of Olives, where the devotees witnessed as He ascended into the paradise.
When Is Ascension Day?
Ascension day is also known as the Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Thursday and Holy Thursday. This day considers as the last appearance of Lord Jesus Christ to his followers after His resurrection at the day of Easter. Feast of Ascension is celebrated mostly by Anglican Community and Catholics. According to the Western Christianity methods of calculating the dates of Easter. Ascension day 2019 will be observed on Thursday, 30 May.
Why Is Ascension Day Important?
Ascension day importance is that it reminds us that the glorious and triumphant return of Christ is close. It is a reminder of the Kingdom of God inside our souls, and of the ever-present Holy Spirit, looking out for and ensuring us as we spread the light of Jesus’ reality all through the world. The way that Jesus was resurrected from the grave and ascended to the correct hand of the Father is the hope of our expectation (1 Peter 1:3). We realize that the individuals who belong to Him by faith will one day be with Him in paradise.
Ascension Day Traditions
The tradition of Ascension day is very old and It was started in 68 AD. It is symbolizing Christ’s entrance into paradise. The liturgical color in several churches is white on Ascension Day. They do add some symbols like the rising Christ, Flying birds to home, open doors, a lion conquering, Elijah’s fiery chariot, a broken chain and symbolic of the Messiah’s triumph over the devil when he opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers.
In the Catholic tradition, the ascension precession starts 3 days before the ascension day. Individuals ask for God’s mercy, and the feast itself includes a procession of torches and banners symbolizing Christ’s journey to the Mount of Olives and entry into heaven and an all-night vigil. While the Anglican communion also observed the feast but most Protestant churches have abandoned the tradition.
How Is Ascension Day Celebrated?
Christ’s disciples will have to give proper attention to the celebration of the Ascension day. People have lost interest to celebrate this important day while it is the basic faith of Christianity religion. Ascension day now becomes just a Thursday with an extra name ascension. It’s not just the world that has ignored this festival. The Church seems to have lost interest as well. They prepare well enough to celebrate Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas but on ascension day they reduce their services year by year. According to the Christianity faith, it deserves to be celebrated as the major event. While in the different culture’s have different faith on the feast of the ascension. I will give a broad look at how is ascension day celebrated in different countries.
Ascension day In The US
In the United States, Ascension is celebrated as ascension day Amish. Amish go to fishing on Ascension Day, and Italians bring grapes and beans to church for a blessing. Some churches in the United States join forces to celebrate a combined Day of Prayer and Ascension Day services. It may include a time for reflection. A few churches organize a “church crawl”. Where people travel from one church to another church and experience different prayer events.
Ascension day In France
The celebration of Ascension Thursday in France is very unique. They chase a ‘devil’ through the streets. They dunk the ‘devil’ in a pond and burn it in effigy. This is meant to symbolize Jesus’ triumph over the devil. It is a day in France that considered for prosperity and peace.
Ascension day In Netherland
Ascension day is a public holiday in Netherland. The provincial communities of Netherland make olive branch bouquets with daisies, poppies, and piles of wheat. The wheat and the olives symbolize a vast harvest, the daisy symbolizes wealth, and the poppy symbolizes peace. Wheat is additionally frequently kept inside the home all through the remainder of the year to symbolize prosperity.
Ascension day In Germany
On the Ascension Thursday, German’s people get the federal holiday to celebrate this festival. Some Lutheran churches hold a special ceremony where the Paschal candle is extinguished and removes after the reading of the gospel on Ascension Day.
Ascension day In Norway
Meanwhile, in Norwegian’s faith, it is unlucky to do any work on Ascension Day. That’s why their government announce an official holiday on the Ascension Thursday. In a grant way, people visit orthodox churches for prayers and services.
Ascension day In the UK
There is a belief in English old tradition that eggs laid that day will never rot even they will provide good luck if you put them on the roof. They also believe that sunny weather on Ascension day guarantees a hot and long summer. While if it rains, it will result in bad crops and diseased livestock.
You can also take a look at Pentecost Day. It will definitely increase your knowledge that why it is an important day for Christianity.