The Ascension of Christ may not seem as momentous to the Christian story as the resurrection or as rousing as the image of Jesus on the cross. After the death and resurrection, in fact, the Ascension might even seem somewhat anti-climactic. For the Christian, however, no action of Jesus is without weight, and this, his last action on earth, is weighed with far more hope than is often realized. Ascending to heaven, the work God sent him to accomplish was finally completed. The Ascension was a living and public declaration of his dying words on the Cross: It is finished.

In the Ascension, Jesus furthered the victory of Easter—the victory of a physical body in whom God had conquered death. Because of the Ascension, the incarnation is not a past or throwaway event. Because of the Ascension, we know that the incarnate Son who was raised from the dead is sharing in our humanity even now. Ascension Day, a holy day falling inconspicuously on a Thursday in May (9th), is the conspicuous declaration that we are not left as orphans. In the same post-resurrection body that he invited Thomas to touch, Jesus invites us to full humanity even today. He ascended with a body, he shares in our humanity, extending his own body even now, promising to return for our own bodies. Christ is preparing a room for us, and we know it is real because he himself is real!