Chapter 43.2 Ascension
Early Resurrection Morning (Easter Sunday) to Day of Ascension
(forty days), Judea and Galilee, spring A.D. 30
Ascension, composite digital image by L. Lovett, 2006
Ascension, composite digital image by L. Lovett, 2006
(CLICK on the image above for a LARGER version)

Last Appearance and Ascension

Ten days before Pentecost on the day of Christ’s last appearance, he took his disciples from the upper room and led them to the place of his ascension at the top of Mount of Olives. On the place where he had made his last triumphal entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion, he would make his triumphal entry into heaven.

After Jesus finished speaking, he looked down at all his faithful apostles and followers gathered about him. It was time to leave and ascend to the Father. His work on earth was completed. He lifted his hands in blessing upon them; and as he spoke, he was taken up into a cloud and disappeared while they were watching.

When the cloud passed, they knew their Lord’s physical presence had left them for good. As they looked up, above them was only the emptiness of the blue sky and an almost unbearable loneliness.

But God never leaves his children to suffer more than they can bear. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed angels suddenly stood there among them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!” Then they also vanished into the sky.

Reverently the disciples worshipped their Lord, and with great joy returned to Jerusalem. So it was all true and real; Jesus was seated at the right hand of God! Even though they would not hear Christ’s voice, touch his hands, or see his face which they loved so much, they accepted his leaving. They had his promise that at the end of the age, he would come back in exactly the same way, on the very place of his ascension.

When the apostles first left their nets and followed him, they had not understood just how hard it would be. But they knew their hearts would not fail them. Once they had wanted wealth, power, and ease in an earthly kingdom, and they had argued about who should be greatest. Jesus had completely changed their way of thinking. Now they only looked ahead for his Holy Spirit to return and indwell them as he had promised. They waited, as people do through the hours of the night to see the sun again.

But their wait would not be long. The Day of Pentecost was drawing near…

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