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Daily Devotional • May 18
Feast of the Ascension

Melissa McKinney
Ascend with Him
A Reading from Hebrews 2:5-18

5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are humans that you are mindful of them
    or mortals that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
    you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8   subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of Godhe might taste death for everyone.
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,
“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
13 And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again,
“Here am I and the children whom God has given me.”
14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

We cannot understand the ascension adequately without the doctrine of Christ’s humanity. Christ took on human flesh. He is fully God and fully human. All that means that when Christ ascended, a human being ascended to his Father’s right hand. Jesus Christ is, indeed, the true human, and we who believe in him are united with him. This means that as he ascended to the throne of God, so did we. As he was raised, so was humanity. As he was glorified, so is our hope. Our passage in Hebrews fleshes out some of this theology. 

Adam was given dominion. Humanity was a role given by God to serve, protect, tend, and care for creation. However, as everything was put “in subjection to [Christ], [God] left nothing outside of [Christ’s] control.” As the true human, Christ’s reign extends out over all. Even though we do not see it taking full effect yet, “we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). The one true human king has died in our place, so that we are blessed with everlasting life. 

We are lifted up, raised with him. We, “the offspring of Abraham” are freed from slavery to sin and death (Heb. 2:15-16), and as he is “crowned with glory and honor,” so we are glorified in perfect union with him (2:9). He, “for whom and by whom all things exist,” has, indeed, brought “many sons to glory” (2:10).

Prayerfully consider: In your life, what are the relevant implications of the fact that we who are in Christ have been brought to glory?

Melissa Amber McKinney is a Pittsburgh native, a writer, and an M.Div. student at Trinity School for Ministry. She works as an afterschool nanny and the music leader at Mosaic Anglican Church in Imperial, Pennsylvania. 

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Tabora – The Anglican Church of Tanzania
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
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