The Ascension of Christ into heaven is in accord with reason: firstly because heaven was due to Christ by his very nature. It is natural for someone to return to the place from whence they take their origin. The beginning of Christ is from God, who is above all things. Jesus says to the Apostles (Jn 16:28): “I came from the Father and have come into the world; and now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” (…) The just ascend into heaven, but not in the manner that Christ ascended, namely by his own power, for they are taken up by Christ: “Draw me, we will run after thee.” (Sg 1:3) Or indeed, we can say that no one but Christ has ascended into heaven because the just do not ascend except insofar as they are members of Christ who is the head of the Church. (…) Secondly, heaven is due to Christ because of his victory. For he was sent into the world to combat the devil, and he did overcome him. Therefore Christ deserved to be exalted above all things: “I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne” (Rv 3:21) Finally, the Ascension was owing to Christ because of his humility. There never was humility so great as that of Christ who, although he was God yet wished to become man, and although he was the Lord yet he wished to take the form of a servant and, as Saint Paul says: “He was obedient even unto death” (Phil 2:7) and descended even into hell. Therefore he deserved to be exalted even to heaven, to God’s throne, for humility leads to exaltation. “For whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11) and, “the one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph 4:10).
Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed (The Catechetical instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas; trans. Rev. Joseph Collins, 1939, pp. 39-40 rev.)
All you peoples, clap your hands;
shout to God with cries of gladness.
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.