As It Is Written . . .
The Essential Ascension
Jesus rose from the dead, not in order to return to the earth, but in order to enter "into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. 9:24). His priesthood is heavenly; indeed, "if he were on earth, he would not be a priest" (8:4). His priestly service, commenced on Calvary, was perfected when, "not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood he entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (9:12).
The Lord's Ascension, then, is essential to the work of the Atonement. According to a theme developed chiefly in the . . .
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).
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