Christ’s Ascension

MORNING.

We approach You, O our God, this morning, with especial praises on our lips. We would join the whole company of heaven in shouting, “Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lift up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in!” We laud and magnify Your holy name, that You have exalted Your only Son, Jesus Christ, with great triumph unto Your kingdom in heaven.

Expand our hearts, and cause them to overflow with the joys of the ascension. We bless You for the glorious contemplations to which we are now especially invited. May we draw near in spirit, and see our adorable Redeemer, who for us was lifted up upon the cross, now lifted up to the heaven of heavens. May we see Him who, as the Man of sorrows, was crowned with thorns—now as the Lord of life, crowned with all glory! What could be deeper than Your shame—more bitter than Your agony—more cruel than Your death! What can be higher than Your exaltation—more triumphant than Your return, more glorious than Your life!

Quicken our faith to see the majestic ascent—the hosts of attending angels—the welcome at the portals of heaven. Enable us with open eyes to gaze on the triumphant entrance, and mark all the enemies of our salvation dragged as captives, fast bound to the victorious wheels. Open our ears to drink in Your words assigning the seat to Him, “Sit on my right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool!” May we gaze on Him—as invested with all authority and power, receiving the government upon His shoulders, and taking the scepter of mediatorial rule.

O blessed day! Happy ascension! We adore You, our Lord and our King, living and reigning to consummate our full salvation. We rejoice to see You, in our nature, seated on Your throne on high. What strength to our faith! What delight to our hearts! What rapture to our souls! You ever live to make intercession for us!

Our prayers, then, will be ever heard. May we pray with more undoubting confidence. Our praises will be ever welcomed. May we praise You with redoubled warmth. Daily, hourly do we sin. But our sins are all pardoned; for we have an Advocate in the courts above, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He presents the unanswerable plea of His death. He extends His wounded hands. The hands which were pierced—are the hands which pour down gifts. He withheld not Himself. What, then, can He keep back! We now have assurance, that we shall be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.

Blessed Jesus, we acknowledge before all heaven and all earth, that You could not do more for us. You came down from heaven to redeem us. You are ascended that we too should ascend. Your death is our life. Your resurrection is our justification. Your ascension is our hope. Your return will be our eternal triumph.

Holy Father, give wings to our adoring love, that we may also in heart and mind mount to the heaven of heavens, and ever live with Jesus, our exalted Lord. He is our treasure. He is to us the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely One! Where our treasure is, where our beloved is, grant that there our affections may be also riveted. While the head is in perfect purity, do not allow the members to grovel in the filth and follies of this sin-soiled earth. While the Bridegroom reigns in glory, do not allow the bride to trifle with this world’s polluted pleasures!

O Lord, our exalted King, the heavens have received You until the times of restitution of all things. Oh when will it be! Hasten, we pray, the blissful day.

The groaning earth, travailing in bondage, cries, “Come!” The Spirit and the bride cry, “Come!” We this day unite in the fervent cry, “Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!”

But while Your chariot-wheels delay, give us more and more of the joy and strength of Your presence. May we live in spirit with You until we see Your sign in the heavens, and raise the shout, “Lo! this is our God—we have waited for Him, and He will save us! This is the Lord—we have waited for Him; we will be glad, and rejoice in His salvation!” Amen.