Summary: One of the most inspiring aspects of this account of the ascension is the realization that someday we will have mthe same capacities demonstrated by our Saviour on this occasion. A simple statement in the Word of God clearly settles the issue for me.
When Jesus Ascended Into Heaven
Do you remember Superman? How many of the younger generations have been fascinated by the very idea that he came from another planet; a place where all you had to do was say, "Up, up, and away," and you could zip away into the sky at the speed of light and go around the world in milliseconds. In the historic record of the ascension of our Saviour, we have a spectacle that far exceeds even this fantastic figment of a fertile imagination.
Compare all man's efforts in the field of space travel to space travel as it is recorded in the Word of God. In the Old Testament there is a record of two of God's early astronauts. Enoch is the man who walked with God and was no more. We aren't given any details of his journey to heaven with His hand in God's hand, but it must have been powerfully thrilling. Elijah was a great prophet of God. God had a chariot of fire pick Elijah up and take him home to heaven. What a sight that must have been for the fifty prophets who viewed it from afar off and Elisha, as he stood beside Elijah's mantle and watched the whirlwind and chariot of God take away his beloved mentor.
But the mighty miracle of Christ's ascension exceeds by far the earlier two in the Old Testament. Jesus didn't need a guide nor a vehicle of any kind. He just left by the intrinsic power of God. Of course, this is unreasonable to finite man who is limited in his reason to the natural laws of this earth and its surrounds. He does not normally think in terms that encompass the power of the Mighty Maker of this universe.
One of the most inspiring aspects of this account of the ascension is the realization that someday we will have the same capacities demonstrated by our Saviour on this occasion. A simple statement in the Word of God clearly settles the issue for me. John, in speaking of eternal sons of God said, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.." If we are to know the fantastic future our Creator God has in store for those eternal sons he has chosen as the eternal objects of His love in Christ Jesus, we only need to know what He is like. What He is like, physically, intellectually and spiritually is the key to our eternal existence. What will that delightful dimension and glorious existence really be like? No one knows for sure but it is thrilling to speculate on it.
Recent history confirms man's continuing obsession with the possibility of space flight. But true science indicates that the fragility of man's biological existence and the immense dimensions of space make this an impossible dream. Man's only real hope of really breaking away from the forces of gravity and the restrictive confines of this earth; leaving the surly bonds of earth permanently behind, is found in this example. Man has the answer he seeks and the freedom he desires. But he does not seem to be willing to understand it or accept it. Man is truly designed for the stars, but he does not seem willing to fully come to grips with or grasp his eternal destiny.
But to really explore our future we must examine what He is like in His resurrected body. The record of all the observed activities of our resurrected Saviour during the forty days He spent among upwards of five hundred of His followers before His ascension, gives us some indication of that fantastic future. The first observable phenomena was the complete reversal of all scientific laws involved in His bodily resurrection. Such infinite power is incomprehensible to the mortal mind.
The next apparent phenomena is the setting aside of the limitations of time, space and distance. Evidently he traveled from earth to paradise, to heaven and back to earth in an instantaneous manner. We can only speculate about the vast stellar distances that may be involved. In
doing so, laws relating to energy and propulsion would of necessity be negated. Even those who by faith incredulously accept the ideas of space warp and other ridiculous propositions of science fiction space travel, would perhaps be astounded by this. No space ship is mentioned or indicated! His final ascent into space would seem to be deliberately slowed for reasons of communication, but that makes the observed phenomena even more remarkable.
Shall we be like Him in all of this? Will we leave this earth with the same sort of power when the trump sounds and the voice of the archangel splits the air? I think so. The concept is so far beyond our capacity to conceive and comprehend we are hesitant to fully accept it or speculate upon its full implications. Perhaps it is enough to rejoice in being the eternal sons of God who will some day see Him as He is and be like Him in eternity! Let us examine in more detail What Jesus Did When He Ascended Into Heaven.