Peter points out the tremendous significance of the ascension as he comes to the climax of his sermon on the day of Pentecost.
He quotes first from Psalm 110, and then says, "Therefore (in view of the ascension), let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made the same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Messiah."
The climax of gospel preaching must be here. This is God's answer and act. Men killed Jesus, God exalted Him.
Let us preach this Jesus. Peter writes, "Jesus Christ is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angles and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him" (I Peter 3:22). This is true. It is true now, not in the some distant future.
Where is the crucified Christ now? He is at the right hand of God. All things are under Him now. Brethren, the hour is late.
It is long since time that this generation hear the 'gospel', not just a part of the chain but all of it.
The whole Christ is the gospel, nothing less, nothing more.
The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:8 quotes from Psalm 18 and portrays a wonderful picture in this connection, "He led captivity captive." The ascension is the triumphal return to heaven of the Son of God. He has conquered and He returns with the captives of war.
Sin and death, those enemies of man and God, those tyrants which had enslaved men, are themselves now subjected and held captive to Him who openly triumphed over them.
The power of sin is broken; it shall not lord it over the believer. Death is swallowed up in victory, its reign ended. Christ the Conqueror rules and He shall rule 'till He hath put all enemies under His feet' (I Corinthians 15:25).
For the apostles here is greatly needed help and hope. They see now that the resurrection proclaimed a King after all.
The suffering Servant is enthroned, this same Jesus.
His kingdom indeed is not of this world. He will (and does) reign, but not simply from an earthly throne. His kingdom is and shall be glorious, but it shall not be the glory of this world. He is and shall be victorious, but His victories shall not be achieved through the blood and steel of men.
This excerpt is from a Rolfe Barnard sermon entitled, "The Ascended Lord". Edited by Eulala J. Bullock. Free PDF edition by Grace-eBooks.com.