05 May 2016
Even to this day, being on someone’s right is a place of honour
A teacher asked her class of nine-year-olds to draw a picture of the Ascension. Not surprisingly most of them did a fairly conventional portrait of Jesus rising up into the clouds. One of her students, David, who was a particularly gifted artist, had Jesus blasting off into the sky. Down the side of Jesus’ white garment was the word “Nasa”.
When David displayed his picture to the class, he provided all the sound effects that he imagined must have accompanied Christ’s Ascension. He concluded his presentation by saying, without a hint of irony, “… the Ascension must have been a real blast”! All the other kids said in chorus: “Awesome.”
None of us can blame David for marrying our modern culture with an ancient story. In fact if some of us are honest, David’s “space shuttle Jesus” is not far from what we might think as well.
The Ascension stories, however, are not primarily interested in how or when Jesus got back to Heaven. John and Paul never mention it at all. Mark and Matthew have it happening on the same day as the Resurrection and Luke has it occurring 40 days after Easter on the same day as Pentecost. The one thing on which all the New Testament writers agree is where in Heaven Jesus went and where he is presently – at God’s right hand.
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