Close this search box.

Ascension Day: The King of Kings takes His Throne


In Hebrew numerology the number forty represents a probationary time, or a time of trials. To the Jewish people, this numeral is sacred and means a new age or generation will follow 40 years. In fact, a full-term pregnancy is a duration of 40 weeks (about 9 months) and that is indeed a trial. Throughout the Holy Bible, this has rang true with evidence found in both the Old and New Testaments beginning with the flood for forty days and forty nights.


In Matthew 4:2 Jesus fasted — “And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”

After the resurrection of Christ on the third day as revealed in Scripture, He lingered on earth alongside His disciples for forty days. During this time, Jesus had instructed them to “tarry” in Jerusalem after his departure, as He prepared who were once ordinary fishermen and taught them how to truly be fishers of men. When Jesus Christ first began His ministry and invited the twelve men to follow Him and do as He does, there was still time needed to mature spiritually.

In Matthew 17:19-21 the Master must reassure His students when they go to cast out a demon from a boy with epilepsy — “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed; you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’”


Jesus was a prophet that taught His followers of the Scripture and now He teaches them of how the Scripture works and the power of His name. Once He had risen from the dead, He made several appearances that were significant encounters for each individual or group.

The first reveal was to Mary Magdalene as told in John 20:11-18 — “But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him, ‘Rabboni!’ (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.”


There is immense importance placed on this account, because Jesus showed himself for the first time to the same woman that He had cast seven demons out of. She was faithful to Him after being freed from possession, and traveled alongside Him, and witnessed His death. In Matthew 28:9-10 both Mary Magdalene and the other Mary worshipped Him at the sight and touched Him.


His second appearance was mentioned in connection with Him instructing the women to be messengers and for the disciples to gather in Galilee. It was there that over 500 brethren witnessed Him. These “brethren” were followers of Jesus, devoted and devout in their faith. In the same day, He also appeared before two disciples traveling back home to Emmaus. One is mentioned as Cleopas (Cleophas) and the other was not named but some speculate it was John. This encounter is recorded in Luke 24:13-35, and as Jesus accompanied them in their walk, they did not recognize Him. During the seven-mile walk, they discussed the depths of Scripture but did not see this man as Jesus until they had arrived and were sitting to break bread. As He blessed and offered the disciples the bread, they knew He was their Lord just as quickly as he disappeared again. When they realized that their Teacher had been with them, they returned to Jerusalem to find the eleven disciples and spread the word.


Once more, Jesus reappears and visits the eleven disciples in Luke 24:36-39 — “Now as they had said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’ During this appearance He dug deeper into the Scripture they were previously taught. Thomas was the only one not present at the time, but he was later visited by his Savior.


There are other accounts of Jesus coming to His disciples such as the seven that were fishing in a boat and having no catches, and once again they did not recognize Him until John realized who He was. Jesus told them in John 21:6 — “And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.” Jesus continued to work miracles before His ascension, to bring comfort and “infallible proofs” to strengthen the faith of His disciples.

Acts 1:1-3 revealed the purpose of Yahweh “tarrying” on earth just as He instructed His disciples to do so in Jerusalem to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, — “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”


Jesus was giving His disciples wise counsel for the duration of forty days and on that final day, He walked with them two miles to Bethany before blessing them and ascending into heaven from the Mount of Olives. This was a time of preparation, to train His followers to do as He did and be witnesses of His Glory as explained in Acts 1:7-8 — “And He said to them, ‘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.’”


That is our job as Christians today, we are His disciples. In Matthew 27:29 — “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews.’” He wore this wreath upon His head while he was mocked, tormented, and tortured needlessly. He endured unimaginable suffering to pay the debt of sin and death with His blood like an innocent lamb on a sacrificial altar. He died so we could be free of the penalty of death and that whoever believes in Him may have everlasting life. Then He rose from the dead after three days and three nights, walking again in the flesh, teaching more of that resurrection power, and saving faith for forty days. On that final day, He ascended to be crowned with that diadem no other treasure could rival, to rise as the King of kings and Lord of lords! How Great is our God!



2 Responses