Ascension Day 2021: “My Soul Is Anchored in Heaven”

What does the ascension of Jesus into heaven mean? 

        The Scriptures are full of its significance.  Colossians 3:1, 2:  “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”  Or, I Peter 3:22:  “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God.”  That is, because He ascended into heaven, Jesus is our King, who rules the world.

        But the main, central, blessing of the ascension is the certainty of the believers’ salvation, the absolute surety of the hope that is to be found in Jesus Christ.  Jesus’ entrance into heaven means that all who, by the grace of God, belong to Him are secure in Him and have the absolute certainty of being fully glorified.  All who are in Christ are now in heaven.  Our soul is anchored in heaven.  Jesus Christ cast an anchor into heaven when He ascended.  And He will draw us there to be with Him.  And now, as we are in the tides of this life with so many things pulling us away and working against our faith, or as we endure stormy waves of this life that would dash us and destroy our faith, we, through the ascension of Jesus Christ, are anchored in heaven.

        There are the tides of grief that pull, and despair, and depression, and loss, and loneliness, and rejection of friends.  And, like a boat, we can be pulled away from Christ.  There are the stormy winds of evil lusts and temptations and greed as great waves seeking to cast us upon the rocks of wickedness.  What will hold us?

        Jesus Christ is ascended into heaven.  The anchor of our faith and hope is secure in Him.

  I call your attention today to a very beautiful passage concerning the ascension of Jesus.  It is Hebrews 6:19 and 20.  There we read:  “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”

The Holy Spirit is giving to us here a figure of speech, a picture, which is very striking.  When we think of the ascension of Jesus Christ, says the apostle, we must think of an anchor that is sure and steadfast.  We must think of massive hooks and weights, like the anchor pulled up on the aircraft-carrier Abraham Lincoln.  Only this anchor is not cast down into the depths of the water to hold a ship.  It is cast up into heaven to hold our souls.  This anchor, says the apostle, has been cast into that which is within the veil.  Therefore, we have a hope in us that is as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.  Our hope is the future glory, the complete blessings in Jesus Christ, the inheritance and the promises of eternal life and salvation when we shall be with Him.  That is our hope.  He says that this hope is an anchor of our soul.  It keeps our soul from drifting off into unbelief or wickedness.  Our hope of heaven anchors us in this present world.

        And he says that this anchor is sure and steadfast, for it has entered into that within the veil.  The idea, as I said, is not a chain, an anchor on the end of a chain, going clang, clang, clang down into the bottom of the harbor or lake, into its mud.  But the idea is of a grappling hook being thrown up.  This hook (anchor) goes beyond the veil and catches fast hold of what is within the veil.  It is not an anchor down in the rocks of the sea or on the sandy bottom.  But it is an anchor that is cast into that which is in heaven, the very throne of God.

        The Holy Spirit is referring to the Old Testament tabernacle in the time of Moses, which had its veil separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.  That Most Holy Place, and in it the ark of the covenant, was the symbol of the presence of God.  You will remember that the veil in the Old Testament temple was torn in half when Jesus Christ died upon the cross, thereby signifying that our entrance into heaven has been secured through His blood-letting upon the cross.

        Now, the apostle says, in the ascension of Jesus Christ, the anchor has been cast beyond that veil and it is hooked into the ark of the covenant of God.  It is hooked into the very throne of God.  It is sure and steadfast.  When Christ ascended into heaven He became the anchor of our soul, so that we are held sure and steadfast to the throne of God.  That anchor is not going anywhere.  It is sure and steadfast. 

        And all of this is based on the glorious truth of Christ’s ascension into heaven.  The apostle says, “Whither [that is, into heaven behind the veil] the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  Jesus’ ascension is the casting of the anchor of our soul into heaven.  As a ship is anchored, our souls are anchored in heaven by His ascension.  We are moored there.  He is the forerunner, “Whither the forerunner is for us entered,” the One who has gone before us, the One who has come to appear for us in heaven.  He is the One who is the forerunner for us.  He represents the people of God.  He represents God’s children.  And He has gone ahead of us now into heaven.  And His presence in heaven is as the anchor of our souls.

        The point is this.  By His infinitely precious blood, Jesus Christ has opened heaven for us, and now, as the ascended Lord Jesus, He has gone before us.  His presence in heaven at the throne of God is an anchor for us so that we may say that our hope of going to heaven is sure and steadfast.  United to Christ who is in heaven, our soul is anchored.  Our hope is sure and steadfast. 

        We need, desperately, this anchor of the soul.

        A ship in the harbor or in the inlet needs anchorage so that it is not pulled out by the tide.  And a boat off a rocky shore, off cliffs, needs an anchor so that it is not pushed by the waves upon and up onto the rocks to be destroyed.

        So our souls, which belong to Jesus Christ, are now in this world and we need an anchorage.  We need something reliable.  We need something sure.  The tides of grief pull upon our hearts to sweep us into despair and hopelessness.  There are the currents of trials and struggles that cause us to say, “What’s the use?  It’s no good.  I can’t believe anymore.  Why should we keep trying?  We’re going to quit.”

         And then there are waves.  The stormy winds of temptations blow.  They come upon us.  Or those sudden, sinful urgings of the flesh appear within our mind as a storm to cast us upon the rocks of sin and destruction.  I need an anchor.  My soul otherwise would be swept away into despair or crashed upon the rocks. 

        Now I have an anchor in Jesus Christ.  Christ has ascended.  He is the One to whom we belong by the grace of God.  He is ascended and is in heaven.  He is not going anywhere.  That anchor holds.  It is sure and steadfast.  For a certainty, our hope of life eternal is sure and steadfast.  For Jesus has ascended there for us.

Taken from a Reformed Witness Hour message of Rev. Carl Haak for Ascension Day.

Published in: on May 13, 2021 at 9:58 PM  Leave a Comment  

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