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Why would Jesus need to ascend to the Father?

Submitted: 12/6/2007
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Question: John 20:17 says, 'Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My Brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and YOUR FATHER; and to My God, and YOUR GOD.' If the Father is also Jesus in flesh, why he need to go to heaven where the Father is? Does this not differentiate the two? And what is the meaning of I ascend to the Father?

Answer: Jesus was simply telling Mary that His humanity would soon being ascending off the earth and entering into the spiritual realm. He had fulfilled the purpose of His coming in the flesh and was now ready to remove that flesh so He could begin the next phase of His plan, which was to operate only as Spirit. We see this actually happen in Acts 1 when Jesus ascends into the sky over Jerusalem and in Acts 2 when the Spirit descends from heaven.