The good news of Jesus includes his life, death, resurrection, and future return—but what about his ascension? Though often neglected or misunderstood, the ascension is integral to the gospel.
In The Ascension of Christ, Patrick Schreiner argues that Jesus’ work would be incomplete without his ascent to God’s right hand. Not only a key moment in the gospel story, Jesus’ ascension was necessary for his present ministry in and through the church. Schreiner argues that Jesus’ residence in heaven marks a turning point in his three-fold offices of prophet, priest, and king. As prophet, Jesus builds the church and its witness. As priest, he intercedes before the Father. As king, he rules over all.
A full appreciation of the ascension is essential for understanding the Bible, Christian doctrine, and Christ’s ongoing work in the world.
Patrick Schreiner is one of contemporary Christian scholarship’s brightest lights. In this book, Schreiner expertly explains the crucial and neglected place of the ascension—not only in the biblical story, but in the story of each believer as well. This book will show you how Jesus’ present place in heaven can upend your life on earth now, for the better.
–Russell Moore, president, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
The ascension is one of the most important Christian doctrines there is, but it is also one of the most neglected. In a short book full of helpful insights and illustrations, Patrick Schreiner shows us what it is, why it matters, and why it is not just necessary but delightful.
–Andrew Wilson, teaching pastor, King's Church London
This insightful and eminently readable treatment of the doctrine by Patrick Schreiner does much to bring Christ’s current heavenly reign back into the limelight where it belongs. The Ascension of Christ will bring fresh insights and a deeper understanding regarding this important event in Jesus’s saving work.
–Matthew Emerson, associate professor, Oklahoma Baptist University
In very short space, Schreiner provides a remarkably comprehensive and clear analysis of the ascension. He writes with humor, warmth, and theological precision. This book is without doubt one of the best works that has been written on the ascension.
–Peter Orr, lecturer, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia
Schreiner provides an insightful, pithy, and accessible introduction to the topic, particularly demonstrating its significance for Christ's threefold office of prophet, priest, and king.
–Gavin Ortlund, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Ojai, California
Schreiner beautifully and brilliantly guides us through the completion of Christ’s work in his ascension and session at the Father’s right hand. If you read just one book on Christ’s ascension, make it this one. Highly recommended!”
–J. Scott Duvall, chair, Department of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University
I cannot remember the last time I heard a Christian talk about the ascension of Christ, let alone why it is indispensable to the Christian faith. But it is! Patrick Schreiner opens our eyes to a myriad of ways the ascension matters for Christ and his church.
–Matthew Barrett, associate professor of Christian theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and executive editor of Credo Magazine
Patrick Schreiner tells how, beginning from the book of Acts, he started looking around and soon came to see the ascension everywhere. That is exactly how this doctrine is: easy enough to overlook, but astonishing in its scope and significance as soon as you start paying attention. This book is a great guide to the importance of Jesus' ascension, and an invitation to start seeing it everywhere.
–Fred Sanders, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
In this brief and accessible book, Schreiner helps us recover a neglected dimension of the gospel—Jesus' ascension. Through this lens, the beauty and power of the gospel comes back into focus, and Jesus' continuing roles as prophet, priest, and king are highlighted.
–Carmen Imes, associate professor of Old Testament at Prairie College, and author of Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters
“Second, the place of Jesus’ reign became the ground for mission to the ends of the earth.” (Page 14)
“The ascension (rising) of Christ refers to Jesus going up from earth into heaven. His session (sitting) speaks of Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father. These are two closely linked stages of Christ’s exaltation and triumph, but in a real sense the ascent is the journey, while sitting is the goal.” (Page xiii)
“Third, kings were to follow, delight in, and promote the Torah” (Page 80)
“‘The resurrection requires an ascension to be completed” (Page 6)
“Although the ascension is rarely mentioned in explicit terms, the New Testament assumes its central place. All of the authors write in response to, and work backward from, the ascension. The ascension revealed the Messiah’s exaltation and triumph, finished his work on the earth, guaranteed his current sovereignty, broke the barrier between heaven and earth, thus pouring out the Spirit, and pledged his return.” (Page 11)
The Snapshots series, edited by renowned scholar Michael Bird, engages significant issues in contemporary biblical scholarship, making them accessible to busy students of the word and applicable in the life of the church.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
Patrick Schreiner (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary. He is the author of The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross and Matthew, Disciple and Scribe.