Four Great Events

Thursday, May 23, will be Ascension Day. It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of our Lord’s ascension as a link in the golden chain of His saving work.

Taken from one of C. H. Spurgeon’s sermons as these are found in “Spurgeon’s Expository Encyclopedia” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan), this beautiful excerpt would be difficult to surpass both as to its precious content and literary excellence. Application is due the publisher for permission to reprint this.

Four great events shine out brightly in our Saviour’s story. All Christian minds delight to dwell upon his birth, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension. These make four rounds in that ladder of light. the fool of which is upon the earth. but the top whereof reaeheth to heaven. We could not afford to dispense with any one of those four events, nor would it be profitable for us to forget, or to underestimate the value of anyone of them. That the Son of God was born of a woman creates in us the intense delight of a brotherhood springing out of a common humanity. That Jesus once suffered unto the death for our sins, and thereby made a full atonement for us, is the rest and life of our spirits. The manger and the cross together are divine seals of love. That the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead is the warrant of our justification, and also a transcendently delightful assurance of the resurrection of all his people, and of their eternal life in him. Hath he not said, “Because I live ye shall live also”? The resurrection of Christ is the morning star of our future glory. Equally delightful is the remembrance of his ascension. No song is sweeter than this—“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.”

Each one of those four events points to another, and they all lead up to it: the fifth link in the golden chain is our Lord’s second and most glorious advent. Nothing is mentioned between his ascent and his descent. True, a rich history comes between; but it lies in a valley between two stupendous mountains: we step from alp to alp as we journey in meditation from the ascension to the second advent. I say that each of the previous four events points to it. Had he not come a first time in humiliation, born under the law, he could not have come a second time in amazing glory “without a sin-offering unto salvation.” Because he died once we rejoice that he dieth no more. death hath no more dominion over him, and therefore he cometh to destroy that last enemy whom he hath already conquered. It is our joy. as we think of our Redeemer as risen, to feel that in consequence of his rising the trump of the archangel shall assuredly sound for the awaking of all his slumbering people, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout. As for his ascension, he could not a second lime descend if he had not first ascended; but having perfumed heaven with his presence, and prepared a place for his people, we may fitly expect that he will come again and receive us unto himself. that where he is there we may be also. I want you, therefore, as in contemplation you pass with joyful footsteps over these four grand events, as your faith leaps from his birth to his death, and from his resurrection to his ascension, to be looking forward, and even hastening unto this crowning fact of our Lord’s history; for erelong he shall so come in like manner as he was seen go up into heaven.