The Life of Jesus, after the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11) -- By: George C. Fuller

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 56:2 (Fall 1994)
Article: The Life of Jesus, after the Ascension (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11)
Author: George C. Fuller

The Life of Jesus, after the Ascension
(Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11)*

George C. Fuller

* [Editors note: This article is an address originally delivered by the author on the occasion of his inauguration as Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Theollogical Seminary on May 29, 1991. Appropriately, the form of the address, consonant with the character of the appointment, reflects the homiletical interests of Professor Fuller.]

If you were to ask in a Christian library or Christian bookstore for a book on the life of Jesus, you would find a wide selection of titles. Many authors have written about the life of our Lord. In the Westminster Seminary Library the cards under the “biography and life of Jesus” fill four inches of drawer space. Almost all of these books will begin with his birth and end with his resurrection. A few might mention his ascension to be with the Father.

But Christians praise God that Jesus is still alive; Jesus lives now. Why then should his biography end in the year AD 30? What has he been doing since then? What is he doing now? What is he going to do? The books entitled The Life of Christ need a second volume. I want to work with you in developing the contents of this second volume, to remind us all that Jesus is alive, ministering in the presence of the Father, on behalf of his people.

We all surely recognize that the contents of our “biography” appear elsewhere. The lectures that became William Milligan’s The Ascension and Heavenly Priesthood of Our Lord were delivered in 1891, little more than 100 years ago. Peter Toon’s recent work, The Ascension of Our Lord, covers essentially the same ground and from a perspective more fully consistent with that of most of us. Some works on the person and work of Jesus will touch these subjects. And, of course, so will commentaries on many parts of the Bible. Any book on the Christian’s great and present blessings should have clear focus on the present ministry of Jesus. But we will imagine a “biography of Jesus,” in large part to remind us that he is indeed alive now and will continue to live throughout our history and throughout all eternity.

You may find the chapter titles in this biography a bit strange, because they focus on the risen Jesus, in heaven. The subjects are less tangible, harder to grasp than those in

Volume I, which talks of his birth and miracles and teaching, his life and death. But do not be deceived. These subjects are no less real, no less important, no less specifically set forth in God’s revelation.

Let me also make clear that each of these subjects is worthy of a...

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