(Continued) - The Ascension
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INTRODUCTION. Our hope for eternal life is founded upon the resurrection of Jesus
Christ from the dead and his subsequent ascension to heaven. "If Christ is not risen from the dead...we have no Christ, no Redeemer, no Savior, and no Lord" (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel, p. 1332). "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively [living] hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Pet. 1:3-5).
The day Jesus was resurrected, the first day of the week, He made five appearances. First He appeared to Mary Magdalene, then to the other women. He appeared to Peter, walked and talked with the two on the road to Emmaus, and in the evening stood in the midst of a gathering of the disciples, Thomas being absent. One week later He appeared in a similar manner to the eleven, this time with Thomas present. The seventh appearance was in Galilee to seven disciples who were fishing.