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Does anyone have any thoughts on the ascension?

(9 Posts)
Nettee Fri 29-May-09 10:06:19

I know I am a week late on this one but I am interested to hear from tradionalists and from a more liberal perspective what people understand from this story. I can get my head around the ressurrection miracle in terms of "reanimating" a body if you like but where did the physically ressurected Jesus go on ascension day and how did he get there? What happened to the atoms that made up his body? And what does this all mean seperately from the Easter story?

JohnnyTwoHats Fri 29-May-09 12:49:42

Sorry if this is not particularly well thought out- am in hurry and just about to go out. Will return to this one later.

Not sure on the physical aspect of the ascension as (correct me if I am wrong) i think that there are various versions of this story in the different gospels/ Acts etc. What I understand from the Ascension is the reminder that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. It's a reminder that one day we will join Him there. Also I think as well as marking a close to the Easter story and to Jesus' time on Earth it is also a beginning of sorts, at least for the disciples and the challenges they were to face.

Nettee Fri 29-May-09 18:27:10

Thank you JohnnyTwoHats - it sounds like it was a spiritual thing then maybe but what is the Christian line on where the solid walking and talking Jesus "went"?

JohnnyTwoHats Sat 30-May-09 10:11:55

Well I think the Catholic line is that he went up into Heaven, body and soul, because since He is both wholly human and wholly divine it would be somehow wrong to leave His human body on earth? IYSWIM?

Nettee Sat 30-May-09 10:56:05

Ok - thanks for that - it does imply that Heaven is a place we could get to in a space ship though I feel. This is one of the reasons why I am a liberal agnostic I suppose.

Clockface Sat 30-May-09 17:19:59

I am reading +Tom Wright's excellent book 'Surprised by Hope' which is making me think.

His take on it is that 'going up into heaven' is used metaphorically, along the lines of 'going up into the sixth form'. So it doesn't imply that heaven is physically above our heads any more than the sixth form common room is upstairs from the Year 7s. +Wright sees that heaven is much closer to earth than we have traditionally believed.

But he does see it as a physical disappearance, which will be reversed when Jsus returns - the New Testament is littered with reference to the 'appearing' of the Lord (it really is! I hadn't noticed until I read this book! Like when you think about buying a certain type of car and then start noticing them all over the place...smile). So the ascention frames history in the sense that it pre-empts the second coming. And yes, it locates Christ at the right hand (again, obviously metaphorical) of the Father, praying for the world.

To me is also says that Christ's work is done here on earth until the time of his re-appearing, that this 'season' we are living in is the time of the Spirit, the time of the Good News going to the ends of the earth, the time when the church shows the wold what God is like. Boy what a responsibility.

Off to ponder that now as I take mt dc to the park! smile

KayHarkerDoesNotSimper Sat 30-May-09 22:04:29

Well, my take is that His resurrected body was a glorified body - it was still recognizably human and flesh and blood (he could eat, etc.), but He could do lots of things we can't.

So, the way I understand the ascension is that He was simply translated into the 'heavenly' dimension of eternity that He occupied before He came to earth in the incarnation.

It's described as 'going up' because that's our conception of something 'higher' than where we are on the current earth, but it's my belief that we and even the earth itself will be translated in the same way at the end of all things (new heavens, new earth, etc.)

Nettee Sun 31-May-09 12:14:28

hmmm, thanks for those replies, getting me thinking. I can maybe hold it in the same place in my mind as I do E = M C squared. Doesn't make any sense at all in normal human scale terms but it seems to work!

Clockface Sun 31-May-09 13:48:06

Kay - yes, absolutely we and all of creation will be changed in a smiliar way. He is the firstfruit of the new creation.

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