Stairway to heaven: where and why Christ ascended

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator fotobanka in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Archival photoStairway to heaven: where and why Christ ascended© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator the image Bank

One of the most ancient Christian holiday, Ascension day, every year in Jerusalem, on top of the mount of olives, a lot of people. The place where Christ ascended into heaven, now belongs to the Muslims, but once a year they allow Christians to spend the festive service.

Mountain with a trace of God

A small chapel here was built by the crusaders. Sultan Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187, did not touch her, on the contrary — seeing so many Christians coming here, ordered to build near the mosque for Muslims, who revered Jesus as a prophet.

After a large earthquake in 1836, Greek Orthodox, Catholics and Armenians have restored the building, however, the Armenians wanted to build next to its monastery. It began to build, but in response to the appeal of Emperor Nicholas I, Ottoman authorities ordered «all the innovations to exterminate and destroy that these places remain accessible for worship for all peoples.»

Inside the chapel is one of the most revered Russian pilgrims to the Palestinian Holy places — the «footprint», footprint of Jesus Christ.

«Random similarities here, at least for me, is unthinkable,» — at the time emphasized the legendary head of the Russian ecclesiastical mission Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin). The imprint of the other feet of the Savior, the Muslims carved out of the rock and moved to the al-Aqsa mosque, where it is stored today.

Stop the Savior’s facing North, so Russian pilgrims decided long ago that «He was received up into heaven, face turned to the North, to Russia, and, rising, blessed it.» Images of foot prints of Christ in the nineteenth century, the nuns of the nearby Russian monastery of the ascension the mount of Olives blessed all the guests of the monastery.

A serious Embassy

«Christianity is a Mature religion. In it God gives man absolute freedom. We can say that since the ascension believers in Christ represent Him to this world. They are not just people, but a kind of diplomatic mission, Embassy in a hostile country, which has a completely unique preferences and immunity,» says the associate Professor of the Moscow spiritual Academy, famous preacher and theologian Archpriest Pavel Velikanov.

The Christian worldview argues that the whole world is only an image of another world, a small corner of infinity. True existence — is not something that we feel in our sensory experience. All that is visible is only a shadow of true existence.

«Christ is no longer present here, as after His Resurrection, but His «powers» given to people who believe in Him and living with Him. This sharp increase of responsibility is the main theme of the feast of the ascension. Christians are called to move away from children’s relationship to God as daddy, who can always complain, and learn to be responsible for everything that happens in the world. In our hands all the tools, we all passed,» says the priest.

Stairway to Heaven

In Russia this day, it was decided to prepare a special treat — ladder, symbolizing the way of the Lord to heaven. The so-called pies stuffed with onions and garnished with bars of dough. Still you can see them on holiday in the Ukrainian Church going families.

«The power of death and sin, the gap between man and God — the Christ overcame His death on the cross and Resurrection. All holes stitched, and even the bridge in His Kingdom built, but we’ll go on it or will whine on the shore that we are all bad — the question ourselves. By force no one there we will lead,» concludes the priest.

That the main purpose of a Christian since then is to remember about this bridge, says the doctor-resuscitator, the priest IBAS, instead (Senchukov). He believes the Ascension of Christ a unique chance «to break through to the heavens» that the Lord has given to each, and finds an analogy in the animal Kingdom for those who do not want to use it.

«Here is all the wonderful pet pig, but unfortunately, is designed so that you cannot raise your head to the sky. So arranged her cervical vertebrae — she looks either forward or down. The Lord has given us eternal life, but we can do it, constantly looking down and thinking about things of the world. And here It is visible to us takes to the sky, showing us that we can rise to It. However, to decide whether to do it or continue to look down, only us,» smiled the priest.