Matt O’Reilly directed my attention to a great new work by Gerrit Scott Dawson entitled Jesus Ascended: The Meaning of Christ’s Continuing Incarnation. In the work he describes Jesus’ continual humanity at the right hand of the Father:
“If he dropped the hypostatic union with humanity, then he dropped us, and we are left forsaken on this side of the great divide, unable to fulfill our purpose, find forgiveness and restored communion, or enact our mission” (6).
He elaborates on the continuation of Jesus’ incarnation:
“A human hand will grasp us as we make our way into heaven. We shall be greeted by a face – the face of Jesus – that has a form to recognize. The incarnation continues, and so we are included in the life of God. That is the essential meaning of the ascension. We are not left alone. Jesus has gone before us in a way we may follow through the Holy Spirit whom he has sent, because the way is in his flesh, in his humanity. Jesus is himself that new and living way. The fully human one has gone within the veil in our name and even in our skin. United to him by the Spirit, to the one who remains united to us, we may follow where he has gone” (7).”
This Sunday, our congregation, together with many others in the world, will celebrate the Ascension. The Ascension is not just another event in the life of Jesus, but the fundamental declaration that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to the God/Man who sits at the right hand of the Father.