Augustine Sokolovski

Belief in the bodily ascension of the Lord Jesus is one of the most important dogmatic truths of Christianity. It is based on the direct evidence of the New Testament texts. The dogma of the Ascension is the undoubted basis of Christian teaching.

The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, which is universally used in the Orthodox Church and recognized by all Christian denominations, says that the Lord Jesus "rose from the dead on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father." The Creed of the Holy Apostles, which is more commonly used in Western Christianity, says the same thing.

Before the very transubstantiation of the Holy Gifts, bread and wine, into the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharistic prayer of John Chrysostom, the priest “remembers the saving commandment and everything that has happened for us, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, ascension to heaven, right hand sitting, second and glorious coming again." The liturgy of Basil the Great "remembers His saving sufferings, the life-giving cross, the three-day burial, the resurrection from the dead, the ascension to heaven, sitting at the right hand of God and the Father."

Obviously, the Ascension Dogma is no less important than the truths about the Incarnation, Resurrection and Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. It is important to remember and confess it with heart and mouth. According to the words of the Apostle Paul, “with the heart they believe unto righteousness, but with the mouth they confess unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).

The Ascension was a historic event. It is spoken of in Holy Scripture. Thus, the descriptive narrative of the Ascension is contained in the third Gospel and in the Book of the Apostolic Acts. The Tradition of the Church and biblical science consider the Evangelist Luke to be the author of both New Testament texts. Both testimonies complement each other, revealing the unique mysterious essence of this great salvific Event.

The biblical New Testament teaching and faith of the Church is the conviction that the fullness of Christ's humanity after the Ascension remains wholly. This means that due to the Ascension of the Lord Jesus, God… has a human heart beating.