LXXVII. The Ascension.

LUKE xxiv. 50, 51. “And
He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His
hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed
them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”

OF all places of scriptural interest, this solemn, strange,
sabbatic Mount of Olives should be most visited by those
who love the Lord; for He prayed, and preached, and
taught, and loved, and wept, and agonized, and triumphed,
all in connection with this Mount of Olives.
I. There are several attendant circumstances of the
Ascension on which we may profitably dwell.
1. It was visible, palpable to the senses of every
beholder. His crucifixion was public. His burial was
public. His resurrection was public. So with equal
publicity in the broad day, from a neighbouring mountain,
amid the compass of a thousand witnesses, He ascended up
on high.
2. The place on which it happened is worthy of our
notice. We can imagine the feelings of the disciples as
they took the familiar road, for they had often been to
Bethany together. It was the chosen walk, hallowed by
intercourse Divine: and there was a charm at the end of
it too, for in that village, darkened by its covert of olives,
lived the family that Jesus loved.
3. We must not overlook the act during the perform-
ance of which He was lifted on high. He had mingled
among the people, a moving, life-giving benediction.
So He closed with blessing, and He blesses still.
4. He is an example as well as Redeemer.
II. The Purposes of the Ascension.
1. The personal results were, the publicity of the scene
and the triumph of His entrance into His primal glory.
2. The representative results: by His exaltation our
own race derives surpassing honour.
3. The mediatorial results: he received gifts for men.
If we could pierce the secrets of the blessed presence, we
should hear Him interceding, and see Him sending grace
to the tempted.
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.