Joy to the World, the Lord HAS GONE

Joy To The World, The Lord HAS GONE!

This is Christmas morning, and I'm sitting here in prison, away from my loved ones and I am so happy, I can hardly contain myself!
Joy To The World, The Lord HAS GONE!
Am I losing my faith? No, by His grace I think it's stronger than ever!
Should I make an emergency visit to the psychology department?
No, I'm still sane and singing, Joy To The World, The Lord HAS GONE!
Gone, that is, to where He said He would go--away from this earth and back to heaven.
"...I am going to the Father..." "...I am going to the One Who sent me..." "...So then the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God." (John 12:12, 16:5, Mark 16:19)
I think the ascension of Jesus is about as significant as the incarnation, and to me this Christmas morning--locked up in a federal prison--it's somehow more exciting.
Joy to the world, the Lord HAS GONE!
(Of course it's His earthly body that's gone, He promised His spiritual presence would be "with us always, even unto the end of the world." Matt 28:20)
Here's why I'm happy about the bodily ascension of Christ:
Jesus said it would be to our advantage. "Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)
Folks who've turned from their sins and surrendered to the Messiah are supremely fortunate. Because they've received the promised "Helper." They've realized the advantage Jesus spoke about.
They know it's the greatest thing in the world, bar nothing.
The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that God's Spirit brings to those who've received the "Helper," brings the tranquility that people crave the world over. Not to mention the help He gives in overcoming the sinful desires and behaviors, and His constant presence, and much more. (Gal. 5:19-25)
Joy To The World, The Lord HAS GONE!
The second reason I'm happy this Christmas morning about Jesus' bodily ascension is because I have the assurance that our Messiah and King has ascended David's throne and is now reigning over the People of God.
All will be well!
Jesus' ascension to David's throne is an essential part of the incarnation and the Christmas story:
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the House of Jacob for ever and of His Kingdom there will be no end." ( Luke 1:30-33)
A study of Peter's sermon in Acts 2 leaves little doubt that Peter thinks of Jesus having already ascended to David's throne, particularly the section in Acts 2:29-36.
"The patriarch David died...and was buried." "Being therefore a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his (David's) throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of Christ."
"This Jesus, God raised up...Being therefore exalted AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD... For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "The Lord said to my Lord, SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, until I make your enemies your footstool."
Then comes Peter's bold declaration: "Let all the house of Israel know for certain, that God has made this same Jesus--whom you have crucified-- both Lord and Christ. (anointed one or King)
Ponder the following verses for inspiring glimpses of the ascended King Jesus taking His place at the right hand of His Father: Eph. 1:17-22, Col. 3:1-4, Heb. 1:1-3; 8:1-6; 10:12-14; 12:1-3; 1 Peter 3:22; Rev. 3:20-21, Rev. Chapter 5.
What are the practical implications of Jesus' reign as our King? By faith the believer is spiritually "located" with Jesus in His place of Supreme Authority. Seated with Christ in heavenly places, the believer has access to the King's resources, His power over sin, His authority over Satan and much more. (Eph. 2:6)
Christ's authority is the basis for making disciples all over the world. (Matt.28:18-20.)
A third reason I'm happy about Jesus bodily ascension: We now have a mediator in heaven who stands between God and man--the Man Jesus Christ. In this meditorial role, He's both High Priest and Advocate between us and an otherwise unapproachable God. Because of Jesus' ascension we can now come "Boldly to the Throne of grace and receive mercy and grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Finally, I'm happy on this Christmas day because looking back at the the first advent, reminds us to look ahead to His second coming.
Fellow Citizen of Heaven, Our King's coming back from where He's gone! Let us watch and be ready! He will come back on the throne of His glory, judge the world with perfect justice and make all things new. And we will reign for ever and ever in a new heavens and a new earth. It simply can't be long now.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come, has gone and IS COMING!
If someone wants to send me a Christmas present, you could ponder the Scriptures above, and send me your inspirations and thoughts. Forgive me for being presumptuous enough to wish for at least 10 "presents."

Love in Christ Jesus,
Ken Miller
Federal Correctional Complex
PO Box 1000
Petersburg, VA 23804