“Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!”
Psalm 24:9,10
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. It was commissioned in 1806, after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napolean at the peak of his fortunes. More recently, German soldiers led a victory march through the monument to signal their conquest of France in June of 1940. Thankfully, four years later, on August 29, 1944, the French, along with their Allies, marched through the Arc de Triomphe once again, celebrating France’s complete liberation from Nazi forces.
This past Thursday marked Ascension Day on the Christian calendar. After speaking with His disciples on the Mount of Olives forty days after His resurrection, Jesus rose from the ground, disappeared from sight, and ascended into heaven. From the perspective of the disciples, it may have seemed a loss as they could no longer see their Saviour with the eyes of flesh, but from Heaven’s perspective, it was the victory of all victories!
The verses above, from the Old Testament, were likely written to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the tabernacle where it belonged. The Ark of the Covenant symbolized the presence of God with His people, and there was great celebration when it was returned after being in enemy hands! But what a foreshadowing this was of a far, far greater victory! Jesus Christ, the ultimate reality of the presence of God with His people, submitted Himself willingly to the abuse and torture of enemy hands at the cross of Calvary in order to accomplish the greatest victory ever achieved – the victory over sin and Satan and death and hell!
The doors of Heaven are thrown open, as it were, to usher in this King of all kings and Lord of all lords on Ascension Day, because He has won a victory that can never be undone! And the doors of Heaven remain open for all those who continue to look to Him in faith! While we do not see our Saviour with the eyes of flesh, may God help us to behold Him with the eyes of faith, enthroned at the Father’s right hand, reigning over all! Hallelujah! What a Saviour!