Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?…
On its historical side the Ascension of Christ is an event of surpassing grandeur and sublimity. It is an event without parallel in the history of mankind. For the Ascension of Christ rises far beyond the translations of Enoch or Elijah. His ascension was the ascension of a risen and immortal man, of a spiritualised and glorified body. It was therefore a perfectly unique and unparalleled event. This historic fact, applied to ourselves, penetrating our inmost being, conquering our wills, directing our motives, stirring our thoughts, exalting our actions — this, and this alone, is of redeeming service and eternal consequence. One of the greatest needs of our age is this applied Christianity; this application of historic, doctrinal religion to daily righteousness. We want the life of Christ imputed to us; and imputed, not by some ecclesiastical or juridical fiction, but in a plain, honest, practical way — the way of faith shown forth by works. What a poor paltry thing our modern respectable Christianity too often is! The Christianity of the Gospel is real and glorious. It begins with the cradle, and does not end with the grave. It has no will except the will of God. What is the message of the two Ascension Psalms (24, 25.)? Their first message is of Christ. That message was primarily and historically fulfilled when Christ Himself passed through the heavens. But the message is not concerning Christ alone. It concerns every Christian in so far as his character and conduct are fashioned after the model of Christ, his redeeming Lord. For as with the Resurrection, so also with the Ascension of Christ. He is the first fruits; afterwards all that are His. His ascension is the pledge and guarantee of our final ascension. Why did Christ our Lord ascend? The Psalmist answers: "Because He had clean hands and a pure heart." Because Christ was perfect in heart and life; it was impossible for Him to be holden of death or of earth, Not only because He was perfect Son of God, but also because He was perfect son of man, He ascended into the heavens. His Ascension was accomplished by the force of a Divine and spiritual necessity — a spiritual necessity engendered by His absolute and unblemished righteousness. As fire ascends towards the sun by a natural law, so by a spiritual law goodness ascends towards God. What is true of Christ in perfection is also true of every Christian in part. All who, in humble faith, imitate His character will, by virtue of the same spiritual necessity which compelled His Ascension, themselves also at length ascend whither He has gone before to prepare a place for them. We must earnestly endeavour to practise the character and imitate the conduct of Christ before we can hope to follow in the shining path of His glorious exaltation. Ascension in heart and mind, in conversation and conduct, must be the forerunners of final, bodily ascension.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?