The Life, Death, and Ascension of Jesus

Jesus Birth Life Death Resurrection Ascension

Nothing is more central to the Christian message than the news that Jesus has brought humanity into objective union with the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Spirit, before creation, determined that the life they share in unfettered mutual other-centeredness, would be shared with you, and with me, and with the entire human race. How raucous should be the celebration of our Inclusion!!

I recall 9 years ago coming to terms with my wrong-headed theology. I was ashamed of things I had believed and preached. Reading, like a man stranded on a desert island with only a library of Trinitarian thought to pass the time, I hungrily consumed every book I could get my hands on that focused on the Triune nature of God as the starting point for its theology.

I read new books and old books. I began to see the importance of the Life, Death, and Ascension of Jesus in a new light. I let go of Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory. I no longer saw God the Father as killing Jesus so he wouldn’t have to kill me. I began to scream at Western Evangelical Christian radio and TV. I soon just turned it off! “Jesus is not the only one who loves me!” I thought. “The Father and the Holy Spirit love me too!” You see inside the life, death, and ascension of Jesus, or what we call his finished work, the dream of the Father to have mankind in union with the God-head was accomplished.

Do you see it? Do you see the startling beauty of the purpose and plan of God for humanity? The life, death, and ascension of Jesus are towering over historical humanity from the very beginning beckoning us to wake up and see the beauty of our inclusion into the life of God. We are called to live in it, love in it, laugh and play in it. We are summoned to belief so we might taste and see that the Lord is good. So good in fact that there is nothing you can do to change God’s disposition toward you. There is nothing you can do to make the Father, Son, and Spirit love you more or less. God already loves you with 100% of His being! All that you needed to fit and be adopted into the life of God has already been accomplished in the life, death, and ascension of Jesus…

Well I hope I have not agitated anyone too much. I intentionally left out the word resurrection simply to make the point that we ought to be equally alarmed when we hear people talk about the “life, death, and resurrection of Jesus”. We must never forget how important to us is His Ascension. In fact this blog post was written as an exercise on how sometimes we emphasize the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to such a degree that we forget about the importance of the ascension of Jesus. This Sunday is Ascension Sunday, when we celebrate with special emphasis, the Ascension of our Lord Jesus. In the Ascension you and I and all of humanity have been seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Father. In the Ascension we have all gone home! We are with the Triune God both here in our present condition and at the same time seated at the throne of God. We need not divide Jesus to such an extent that we focus on one part of him or his ministry to the detriment of others but this year during Ascension week let us be especially thankful that Jesus has brought us all home in his ongoing Incarnation!

~Bill Winn

3 comments so far

  1. MARTIN KENYAH on

    this is perfectly true…thanks a lot

  2. Richard Pullin on

    Timothy, sounds like you have grown a lot over the past decade, as many of us have, hopefully. That’s really impressive how you’ve read so widely in the Trinity. Do you have any resources you would recommend? The “penal substitution” theory, agreed, is not a healthy view. Agreed, a social view of the Trinity is helpful. Oh by the way, you said you were “ashamed”. we believed what we did not knowing any better, so what shame is there in that? We were what we were doing the best we knew how!

    • Richard Pullin on

      Sorry I should have said Bill not Timothy!


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