This coming Thursday is Ascension Thursday. In this Easter season there are 4 big events for Catholics 1) Holy Thursday/Good Friday which was the linking of the first consecration of the Eucharist with the bloody sacrifice of the passion of Christ, the consecration unbloodied remembrance/sacrifice (the same as Calvary but as might be thought of as a renewal by all future generations) throughout time and Christ true return in the consecration of the Eucharist, to his people body, blood, soul and divinity (John 6:64-70), 2) Easter when Christ by His own divine power, rises from the dead, there by proving his divinity (because not only did Jesus Christ but some people in the Old Testament as well as some in the New Testament have raised people from the dead but none have raised themselves as Jesus Christ did thus proving his claim in John 10:17-18 and John 2:18-19), 3) the Ascension which we will discuss today and finally 4) Pentecost.
Christ’s sacrifice of himself, as the great high priest of the world, on Calvary, was the act that atoned for Adam and Eve’s original sin and opened the doors to heaven to mankind again. But because it was a sacrifice by an infinite uncreated being it could have infinite significance. So because of Christ making it not only to make reparation for original sin but for all future sins of mankind through His enabling his disciples to forgive sins, all future sins could be forgiven (Matthew 16:19). But just as Adam and Eve could do nothing to atone for their sins, no individual man can atone for their sins directly to God the Father as some Christians purport but must be done by the new mechanism which Christ put into existence for the forgiveness of sins. He chose His disciples and he said “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” (Luke 10:16). They in turn chose, that is said who their replacements would be, and those who heard and understands and “does not despise” His disciple and those they choose are accepted by the Father. In the Old Testament priests were chosen by the natural law, i.e. the sons of Aaron, those males of Aaron’s line. For the New Testament, so that gentiles (that is non-Jews) could be selected, selection was by supernatural laws, i.e. who the apostles selected because Christ gave them to power to select their successors (acts 1:26 show this in action where as Luke 10:16 along with other verses such as those appointing Peters and his successors as head, i.e Matthew 16:18 shows where Christ gave the apostles that power).
The significance of the Ascension, which I did not understand until just recently, was that His ascension into heaven was visual proof that God had accepted Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, just as in the Old Testament the rising of the smoke from the burning of the victim or the rising of the incense to God was an indication that He accepted their sacrifice. Plus Christ said unless He left he could not send the Paraclete, that is the Holy Ghost (John 16:7) to assist, which is what happened on Pentecost, which I will discuss in another post, possibly just before Pentecost occurs this year.