The Ascension of Jesus

The 40th day after Easter

The Ascension of Jesus will be celebrated on May 30th, 2019, marking the 40th day following Easter. This holiday stems from the Christian faith and is significant to the faith though it is not as oft-celebrated as some of the other major holidays.

The religious holiday holds that Jesus was killed and returned to life on Easter Sunday. However, he was not meant to stay on Earth forever. After forty days, Jesus was taken up into heaven and completed His ascension.

According to the tradition of the Bible, Jesus’ ascension took place outside of Jerusalem. The location was called the Mount of Olives and is a site that has become a place where many Christians visit. The story continues that at the Mount of Olives, before ascending, Jesus spoke to the apostles that had gathered with him. An exchange between the men went “Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority”

With those words, he ascended into heaven, but the message did not end there for the gathered followers who watched the Messiah disappear into the clouds. Two men, dressed only in white, found the apostles and told them “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Not only were those words significant to the people that watched Jesus ascending, but it also forms the foundation of the belief that Jesus is going to return to the Earth once again. There was another facet of this ascension that was very important: the heavenly power with which Jesus would return.

This holiday doesn’t just refer to the day Jesus left the mortal realm. It is also important because it is the day that Jesus assumed his position at the right hand of God, becoming a major religious figure that was more than a mere mortal human as He was born.

In the Western tradition the holiday is always celebrated on Thursday; 40 days after Easter. The Orthodox tradition has different calendar and observance is a month later.


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