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One Word: Ascending

We’re now just a few days away from Ascension Day. We evangelicals have a tendency to let this occasion slip by without a mention. Perhaps the significance of the moment is worth some reflection:

Everything is thus rooted in the fundamental statement of 3:13, where Jesus’ entire coming and work is summed up and described as the double movement of the Son of man’s descent from and ascent to heaven….[I]n the one word “ascending” everything is summed up that belongs to Jesus’ passage from this world to the Father (13:1), his resurrection from the dead and his enthronement as the Son of man. But from 20:17 it is clear that this entire salvific process is realized in phases, each with its own meaning. Jesus “is ascending,” but for a long time “has not yet ascended.”

Ridderbos, The Gospel of John: a Theological Commentary, 638