We celebrate the Ascension of Jesus as the completion of his transformation from the One in whom dwelt “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”[i] to the One who “filleth all in all.”[ii] But he didn’t leave us behind. Christ remains within and among us through the Holy Spirit and includes us all in the Church Universal, “which is his body, the fullness of [the One] that filleth all in all.”[iii]
During the forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus appeared in many forms. Since the Ascension, Christ continued to appear in different ways in the Bible. Throughout the history of the church, many have reported various types of visual apparitions of Jesus. Most Christians can testify that we have experienced some sort of spiritual connection with the risen Christ. Methodism commemorates John Wesley’s Aldersgate Experience, about which he wrote,
I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.[iv]
Manuscript and audio of the sermon preached by
Rev. Bill Lawson on May 21, 2023, at Briensburg UMC.
[i] Colossians 2:9 (KJV).
[ii] Ephesians 1:23 (KJV).
[iv] John Wesley. “Entry for May 24, 1738.” The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M. in Four Vols, Vol. I. London: J.M. Dent & Co., 1907. Digitized by the Internet Archive, 2017. Web. 15 May 2023.
Copley, John Singleton. “Ascension,” 1775. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Web. 19 May 2023. Painting, Image.