Jesus ascended into heaven forty days after his resurrection.
… that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places….
It rained every day and every night for forty days.
Noah and his family watched it rain all those days and nights. With the sound of thousands of animals coming up from the hold below, they heard the pounding rain on the roof of the ark.
It was the first “forty days” of note. And these forty days would be noteworthy for all of history. Nearly every ancient culture has a “flood story.” This is hard evidence that there was a cataclysmic flood – just as it is recorded in the Bible!
The next time the Bible speaks of forty days, it is the death of the Patriarch Jacob. He dies an old man in Egypt with his twelve sons around him.
Joseph, his second youngest, was the second-in-command in Egypt. Because Jacob wanted to be buried in the family cemetery back in Canaan, Joseph had him embalmed in the Egyptian way. This way, Jacob’s body would be preserved for the journey home.
That process took forty days.
The next mention of forty days is the period of time that Moses was on Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments.
Soon after, Joshua, Caleb, and ten other spies, spent forty days reconnoitering Canaan, in preparation for a conquest that would eventually be delayed forty years.
For forty days, Goliath taunted Israel before David stood up to him and defeated him.
Elijah took forty days to travel from northern Israel to Mt. Horeb to commune with God.
God gave the people of Nineveh forty days to repent.
Jesus fasted forty days in the wilderness and was tempted by the devil.
And finally, Jesus spent forty days appearing to his disciples between his resurrection from the dead and his ascension into heaven.
The Passage of Time
Ultimately, forty days is just a passage of time. There is nothing magical about it.
However, it is a number specifically mentioned in Scripture and, thus, captures our attention and imagination.
Especially the forty days associated with Jesus.
His wilderness fasting and temptations took forty days. In a way, Jesus was overturning the wilderness wanderings of the people of Israel after they rejected God’s covenant with them (that Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai after forty days).
Christians remember this event in the life of Christ with the Season of Lent – the forty days (not including Sundays in western Christianity) leading up to Easter.
After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – that secured for the forgiveness of sins won on the cross – he would appear to his disciples in various places over a period of forty days.
His last appearance to them was exactly forty days after his resurrection. He ascended to the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places.
From that seat of power, Jesus is King over all the universe. But he is still your friend, your brother, your Lord. He loves you with an everlasting love.
His love for you will not last forty days. It will last for eternal days! When Christ ascended it was with the promise. That he would come back to take you and all believers to heaven to be with him forever.
Every time you come across forty days, let it remind you that Christ ascended on the fortieth day of Easter and will return.
Heavenly Father, your Son ascended into your presence amidst the clouds, and now he reigns over the nations and sits on his holy throne as our victorious Savior over sin, death and the devil. Increase in us patient trust as we continue to wait for the fullness of your glory to be revealed when he returns again in clouds of glory and inaugurates a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
© 2018 True Men Ministries