You have ascended on high, you have led captivity captive: you have received gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also…
Psalm 68:18. Consider
The Ascension in three aspects.
I. AS A FACT. "Thou hast ascended." What was shown in figure is now fulfilled. What was a faith is now a fact (Acts 1:2-9; Ephesians 4:7). While there is much that is strange, there is nothing that is incredible. The marvellous thing was not Christ's ascent, but his descent. Believe in the Incarnation, and all beside, down to the glorious ascent from Olivet, becomes not only credible, but natural.
II. AS A POWER. Christ ascended as a conqueror. His entrance into heaven was a triumph. His power is seen not only in victory over his enemies, but in blessings to his friends. Power over matter is great, but power over mind is greater. Christ's power is moral and beneficent. The work he did on earth was the earnest of the work he carries on in heaven. His "gifts" are not only kingly, but they are bestowed in the most kingly manner. "The rebellious" are not excluded. There is mercy for the greatest sinner, as there is grace to the uttermost for all the saints. Christ's "gifts" are not only precious, but permanent. As long as there is need on earth there will be supply from heaven (Hebrews 4:14-16).
III. AS A PROPHECY. Christ was the first, but not the last, to ascend, He has "opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers." His ascent is the pledge of his people's ascent. "Where should the living members be but with their living Head?" His ascent is the sure prophecy of his second coming, and of the everlasting glory of his kingdom (Acts 1:11; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 9:28). "In his blessed life we see the path, and in his death the price, and in his great ascent the proof supreme of immortality." - W.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.