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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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The event spoken of under this title is among those which Christians of every age have contemplated with the most profound satisfaction. It was in his ascension that Christ exhibited the perfect triumph of humanity over every antagonist, whether in itself, or in the circumstances under which it may be supposed to exist. The contemplation of this, the entrance of the Redeemer into glory, inspired the prophets of old with the noblest views of his kingdom. 'Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them' (Psalms 68:18); and 'Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in' (Psalms 24:9). That something of vast importance, in respect to the completion of the great scheme of salvation, was involved in this event, appears from the words of our Lord himself, 'Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God and your God' (John 20:17). Nor was it till this had taken place that He poured out the grace of the Spirit upon His church, or began the higher exercises of His office as a mediating priest. In the primitive church, the feast of the Ascension, called also by St. Chrysostom the Assumption of Christ, was considered, like the solemn days of the Nativity and the Passion, as of apostolic origin. St. Chrysostom, in his homily on the subject, calls it an illustrious and refulgent day, and describes the exaltation of Christ as the grand proof of God's reconciliation to mankind.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Ascension'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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