Series: The Glory of Christ


Pt.14 - “The Glory Of Christ”

Sermon Outline By Terry Siverd

Cortland Church of Christ / May 03, 2015

This morning I want to consider together the ASCENSION of Christ.

  Generally speaking we understand the importance of the birth of Christ (Christmas).

 We also grasp the primacy of the life of Christ and His ultimate death on the cross (Good Friday).

  And surely we are united in comprehending the critical nature of the resurrection of Christ (Easter).

  We also tend to be quite strong in recognizing the significance of the beginning of the Church (Pentecost).

 And finally, with much study throughout the years, we have come to affirm the importance of

Christ’s coming in judgment in AD 70 on the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel (Christ’s Parousia).


On the other hand I think we may be somewhat “fuzzy” as the import and value of Christ’s Ascension.

Technically, this event is only mentioned briefly in two of the four gospels.

Matthew records nothing about the ascension.

John’s gospel imbeds some pertinent and vital details about the ascension in Jesus’ upper-room discourse (Jn.13-17).

If we only look at John’s post-resurrection chronology there is nothing.  But John’s earlier references are quite enlightening.

Mark’s comments are quite abbreviated (Mk.16:19

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Luke’s Gospel is a little less abbreviated but still not at all lengthy (Lk.24:50-51

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

And it came about that while He was blessing them, He parted from them.

 The most expansive rendition of the ascension of Christ is found in The Acts Of The Apostles.

Read from Acts 1:9-11 

In summary, Matthew says nothing.  John’s words about the ascension are couched in Jesus’ upper-room discourse.

Mark has one verse … Luke has two verses … and Acts offers three verses.

Yet this is a case where brevity does NOT signal unimportance.

Scarcity is not to be interpreted as insignificance.

I have three points to my sermon this morning.

(1)WHEN did Jesus ascend?

(2)HOW did Jesus ascend?

(3)WHY did Jesus ascend?

We will take a few minutes to address the first two questions and then we’ll focus our attention on the third question.

In my estimation, the third question is by far the most important of the three.


  The day of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Passover.

Jesus was crucified as “The Passover Lamb” (1Cor.5:7b).

  Acts 1:3 notes that “(Jesus) presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs,

appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”

  Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after His resurrection or one week prior to Pentecost


 Acts 1:9 states,

  “He was lifted up while they were looking on…”

And a cloud received Him out of their sight”.

Acts 1:10 adds,

  “As they gazed intently into the sky while He was departing two men in white clothing stood beside them…”

This is the way angels are described at the empty tomb of Jesus (Mt.28:1-2; Mk.16:5 and Lk.24:4).

Both “the cloud” & “the angels” attest to the glory of Christ, which is what we’ve emphasized throughout this series.

As the apostles watched Jesus ascend, the angel declared that Jesus would return in like manner.

  i.e., with power and glory

  This is exactly the way Jesus describes His return in judgment upon Jerusalem / Mt.24:29-30.


Once again, this is the most important of the three questions we’re asking.

More important that the when or the how is the WHY - - why did Jesus ascend back to the Father?

  (1) Jesus ascended so that The Holy Spirit could be sent to do His important work.

Jn.16:7 / If I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you;  but if I go, I will send Him to you…

  Heb.2:4 / God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders

and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will.

Jn.16:8 / He will convict  the world concerning sin and righteousness

Jn.14:26 / He will teach  you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I said to you

Jn.16:13 / He will disclose  to you things to come

Jn.16:14 / He will glorify  Me

(2) Jesus ascended in order to prepare a place for us.

We live in a world where we tend to expect “instantaneous” results.

But in Bible times God’s time frame often was deliberate and sometimes protracted.

e.g.  Israel/the descendants of Abraham were enslaved for 400 years …

Moses visited his brethren when he was 40, but was not called by God until he was 80 years old…

The exodus from Egypt took 40 years … We know so little about the first 30 years of the life of Jesus …

In the study before us, we can also see that the work of the cross spanned a 40 year period of time

On the cross, Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished!” (tetelestai = paid in full).

Yet read from Jn.14:1-3 / “I go to prepare a place for you…”

  The image here builds on Old Testament typology.

On the day of Atonement, the High Priest enters the holy of holies with the blood of the Lamb.

The sacrifice is not complete until He returns to the waiting congregation to verify that the offering was accepted by God. 

Read from Heb.9:1-9

The title of this morning’s sermon is from the text of Heb.10:10 7

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all

  Let’s go back now and read again Heb.9:8 4 The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that

the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing

This might well be one of the most overlooked passages in understanding God’s full plan of redemption.

In order for the sacrifice of Jesus to be perfected or completed the Temple had to be destroyed.

(3) Jesus ascended so that the enemies of the cross could be defeated.

Read from Heb.10:10-14

Let’s re-read vss.12-13 / having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time,(He) satdown at the right of God,

waiting from that time forward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.

  This is what the book of Revelation is all about!

In the book of Revelation “Babylon” becomes a derogatory or derisive name for “Jerusalem”.

 This “great” and “sinful” city is not Rome but JERUSALEM … “where the Lord was crucified” (Rev.11:8).

Rev.18:2 / “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great”

Rev.19:1-2 / Hallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;

Because His judgments are true and righteous;  for He has judged the great harlot

Rev.1:1 & 3 / things which must shortly take place … the time is near

Rev.22:10 / do not seal up the words of this prophecy, for the time is near

  This is what the book of Hebrews is all about!

Heb.8:13 / when He said, ‘a new covenant’, He has made the old obsolete.

But whatever is become obsolete and old is ready to disappear.

Heb.10:36-37 / for you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may

receive what was promised.  ‘for yet is very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay’.

  Most all of the New Testament espistles were written to encourage the first-century saints to

hold on tight while God’s work of redemption or reformation (Heb.9:10) was perfected.

Rom.13:12 / the night is almost gone, and the day is at hand

1Cor.7:31 / the form of this world is passing away

Phil.4:4 / the Lord is near

Js.5:8 & 9 / be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the

Lord is at hand…behold the judge is standing right at the door

1Pet.4:7 / the end of all things is at hand

1Jn.1:18 / children, it is the last hour

? In summary:  Jesus ascended back to the Father to complete His work on the cross.

In His absence Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide, guard and direct the early saints to complete the mission.

They were commissioned to “go into all the world and preach the gospel…” / Mk.16:15

Jesus told them plainly, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole

world for a witness to all the nations, and then shall the end come.” / Mt.24:14

Paul declared, “(this gospel) has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven” / Col.1:6 & 23

The “end” that was to come was not the end of planet earth, but the end of the Old Covenant.

The time between His crucifixion and the destruction of the temple in AD 70 was critical

in the establishment of the NEW COVENANT … the NEW CREATION … the NEW & LIVING WAY. 

  • Sermon PODCAST

  • Get the latest sermons delivered right to your app or device.

  • Subscribe with your favorite podcast player.