High and Lifted Up! Scripture tells us that forty days after Jesus resurrection, that is, forty days after Easter, He ascended to heaven. This means that Ascension Day 2012 is tomorrow, May 17th.
The Scripture account in Luke reports:
Luke 24:50- 52 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continuously at the temple, praising God.
The Ascension of Jesus is also reported in Acts 1. Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus met His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Imagine their excitement, believing that now Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth and fulfill the great promise the Jews had clung to for centuries. Christ would be king, not just of Israel but of the whole world. Then the moment was upon them; their beloved Jesus was with them. Acts 1:6-12 then reports:
They asked Him, ”Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times of dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood before them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.
We need to take note today of this amazing event in history. Barclay says, “The Ascension was an absolute necessity. There had to be a final moment when Jesus was taken back to the glory that was his.” He notes that the end of his resurrection appearances had to come to a definite end rather than just peter out. Also he says, “If Jesus was to give his followers unanswerable proof that he had returned to glory the Ascension was absolutely necessary.”
There is much to ponder about this amazing event in history when Jesus returned to glory.