By Stephen Leonard
“And after he had said these things, while they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
Some have poorly alleged if Jesus really ascended into a cloud, He would actually go into orbit around the earth. This shows many modern scientists’ inability to understand God as God. These instead proclaim “limited science” as their God, not God, the Creator of all true science. In their mind, only that which is visible and material to their unbelieving observation and study really exists.
There is no heaven or hell. There are no angels. Miracles do not take place. The blind do not see. The lame do not walk. And five loaves and two fish cannot feed five thousand people.
There is no God, nor is there a living, ascended Christ. Where did He ascend? If you can’t see Him, He is no longer. Authorities could never produce a crucified body, but the guarded tomb was still empty. Over five hundred people witnessed the risen Christ. They saw the nail prints and wound in His side. And you have witnessed the whole world turned upside down by Him right up to the present day.
The ascension of Jesus as other spiritual-dimension events in the Bible are described in Scripture in a straightforward manner to meet human understanding; since you are still creatures who have not known or witnessed all the amazing wonders of God and of eternity. But one day, you shall.
The ascension account tells us that Jesus rose into the air before His followers’ eyes and quickly disappeared from their vision in a cloud. This was simply the God-determined way for Jesus to enter “the courts of heaven” to reside “at God’s right hand” in a manner mortals can grasp. All of heaven’s realities are presently beyond our capacity to take in fully.
We only need to know now that Jesus has returned for a time to the side of His Father, until He returns on the world’s last day. We do not now see Jesus, but we surely shall, face to face. Until then, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, brings Him into the personal lives of believers. They assuredly know His presence!
Whatever else, this is God’s perfect plan; the nature of living by faith. For “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the CONVICTION of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) We now live not by sight, but by faith. Faith is your only recourse. But it is the very finest recourse now. And faith is God’s gift to you! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
You can be certain of Jesus’ ascension into God’s presence. It happened every bit as much as will His return to earth. But then EVERY human eye shall see Him, and “every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Unbelievers will be shaken to their core by His return!
As your faith stands firm in acknowledging the ascent of the Lord on that first Ascension Day, it grasps a future truth: He is coming back! Today, as yesterday and tomorrow, you can look with eager expectation for that return. “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
“O then what raptured greetings on Canaan’s happy shore; what knitting severed friendships up where partings are no more! Then eyes with joy shall sparkle, that brimmed with tears of late; orphans no longer fatherless, nor widows desolate.”
(3rd verse of Henry Alford’s hymn, “Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand,” 1867)