Five months ago, as the Christmas season began, I described the Incarnation as “the first openly-announced wave of an inexorable re-conquest.” The Resurrection proclaimed the victory, of which the Incarnation was the “beachhead,” had been accomplished. And today we celebrate the Ascension.
I find it all but impossible to describe the Ascension without quoting the Apostles’ Creed at least once:
He ascended to heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
And that puts me in mind of the lines from the Psalm:
The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.
Forty days after he rose from the dead, the rightful King commissioned his followers to finish the last details of the “re-conquest” that he had finished in principle, then ascended to heaven to begin preparing a place for them.
The Ascension was, however, not the final word. We are promised that he shall return from heaven to earth, and that all the dead shall be raised, some to punishment and some to reward according to his judgment.