Reason to celebrate

The Ascension of the Lord is a great celebration of the Church. It commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. According to St. Luke it occurred 40 days after the Resurrection (Acts 1:3). It is a feast of great antiquity with liturgies and art of the 4th century already addressing it as a norm of the Church. In the Eastern Church this feast is known in Greek as Analepsis, the “taking up,” and also as the Episozomene, the “salvation from on high,” indicating that by ascending into his glory Christ completed the work of our redemption. Continue reading

Jesus’ prayer: relationships

Father and Son (vv. 1–5) By lifting up his eyes toward heaven (17:1), Jesus strikes a customary posture in prayer (cf. Ps. 123:1; Mark 7:34; Luke 18:13). The first unit in this prayer is Jesus’ intercession for himself (17:1–5). Jesus’ opening petition, “Father, … Glorify your Son, in order that the Son may glorify you” (v.1), implies Jesus’ claim to deity, as the OT affirms that God will not give his glory to another (e.g., Isa. 42:8; 48:11). God’s granting of authority to Jesus (17:2; cf. 5:27) marks the inbreaking of a new era (Isa. 9:6–7; Dan. 7:13–14; Matt. 11:27; 28:18;). Continue reading