Luke 24:44-53 & Acts 1:1-11 â€“ Ascension Day â€“ for Sunday, May 12, 2013 (or May 9, 2013 for ascension sticklers)
â€œâ€¦he withdrew from them and was carried up into heavenâ€¦â€ (Luke 24:51)
I wanted to believe Luke and Acts were correct when they described Jesus rising from earth to the sky and then . . . out of sight. I want to believe Ephesians 4:8-10 (â€œâ€¦when he ascended far above the heavensâ€¦â€) and I Timothy 3:16 (â€œtaken up in gloryâ€¦â€) were additional factual, Biblical and faithful confirmations of Jesusâ€™ divine flight.
This is what I told myself on the morning I read (again) about Jesusâ€™ ascension and decided this time Iâ€™d approach it as true.
But I couldnâ€™t do it. Not for a thoughtful moment. Not for a faithful second.
I think the ascension is holy who-ha. Fanciful faith. Itâ€™s splashy and flashy but without a dash of historical veracity.
While I wonder about the contradictory and confounding resurrection stories, thereâ€™s an inexplicable core belief that something transcendent happened to, with and for Jesus at Easter. I can read, and agree with, critical scholars like Bert Ehrman or Marcus Borg (who have rigorously questioned the Biblical accounts of the resurrection) and yet their views donâ€™t shake my Easter faith. Indeed, Ehrman, Borg and other progressive scholars have strengthened my faith. Continue reading →