19 Then after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the accompanying signs.
50 Then He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. 51 And while He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven. 52 After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple complex praising God.
9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Then after speaking to them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
"I told you so" is something we’ve said to our children, family, and friends all our lives. It goes like this: Our child continues to take risks climbing the tree after we’ve said, "Don't do that. You could get hurt." The fall happens, the knee is skinned, and we say, "I told you so."
We encourage one another to believe God will answer our prayers, and when they come to fruition we say, "I told you so." Sometimes in our Christian walk we become weary, tired, and downright questionable. We wonder if there will ever be an answer to our dilemma and then God will say, "I told you I’d be with you! I told you so!"
The ascension of Jesus is addressed in three books of the Bible: Mark, Luke, and Acts. Do we feel a little slighted that we couldn’t witness this?
However, these days, if it’s not on our agenda for the week, we don’t have time for it. Jesus never said to His disciples, "On Wednesday night, after prayer meeting, I'm going to leave earth to go be with the Father in Heaven."
In each account of the ascension, Jesus had just spoken to His disciples, encouraging them to go into the world to preach the gospel, to tell the story of His death, burial, and resurrection. He’d told them to wait for the filling of the Holy Spirit before they left Jerusalem and to be His witnesses in Jerusalem and all the earth.
Each account of the ascension seems to have occurred during an ordinary activity of Jesus with the disciples. Upon His resurrection, Jesus hadn’t said to them He’d leave them again in 40 days. They weren’t told the day or time. And when it actually happened, they just stood staring into heaven as He went.
WELL, WOULDN'T YOU?
However, let's look back at some of Jesus' conversations with His disciples. These are all from the book of John, so look them up for yourself: "I go to prepare a place for you… I am going to the Father... But now I am going to him who sent me...because I go to the Father and you will see me no longer... A little while and you will see me no longer... l am leaving the world and going to my Father, and your Father, to my god and your God."
As old-timers would say, "your Father and your God" should have been shoutin' words to the disciples.
And the day came! Jesus, the resurrected Lord, was with His disciples, teaching and opening their minds to help them understand the scriptures. He took them out as far as Bethany, a small village outside Jerusalem. He lifted His hands, began to bless His disciples, and His Father called Him to come on up higher: “COME HOME.”
Now Jesus sits at His Father's right hand. He’s accessible to all who call upon Him, and He’s powerful to help His people anywhere in the world. What does His ascension mean to us? He went away so He could be with all of His own at the same time, not just the eleven disciples.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens —Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
HE TOLD US SO.
- Think about a time in your life where you missed the point God was making and how He overcame all your questions.
- Do you remember why there were only eleven disciples with Jesus at His ascension?
- What’s Jesus' position in heaven with His Father according to 1 Peter 3:22?
- Now that Jesus reigns with the Father in heaven, what does He do for us? (See Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25.)