Summary: This is a simple study of verses 9-11 of Acts Chapter 1.
Lifted Up, Looking On, and Letting it be Known Acts 1:9-11
1. Lifted Up / He was lifted up… (v.9)
a. …after He said these things (what did He say) (v.9a)
He had just said you should be MY witnesses in verse 8. Jesus emphasized the word MY there. He stressed that word in His sentence. It was the more important word in the sentence. We know that from the structure of the Greek sentence. This is not guesswork it is the structure of the Greek language. I am by no means a Greek scholar but the Discovery Bible’s H.E.L.P.S. Study System tells me a non-Greek reader which words had a minor and which words have a major emphasis.
Why did He emphasize the word My?
Is it because He knew that we would be tempted to witness for other causes?
Is it because He knew that we would often get onto our own agenda and forget that we are primarily called to be His?
Was it because He knew that some Christians would become more a witness for their local church than they would for Christ?
b. He was lifted up (what does that mean)
In the Greek it means “He was lifted up.”
Why is it that Jesus chose to live this world in that fashion?
What does this miracle say to you?
He had been just appearing and disappearing over and over so why didn’t He just leave the earth in that fashion?
Jesus certainly could have left the earth much in the same way He left on other occasions. I believe that Jesus chose to ascend into heaven to make very clear to the disciples that He was now leaving and the Holy Spirit was now on the way. Remember in John 16 Jesus told the disciples the importance of His leaving so that He could send the Comforter. Jesus went to great detail to assure His disciples that although He would not appear to them any longer in the flesh; He would constantly be with them in spirit.
c. …and a cloud received Him out of their sight (what is the significance of the cloud)
The significance of the cloud can be seen in John 17:5 where Jesus prays that the Father would glorify Him in the same way He was glorified before the world was made. This cloud was a cloud of glory. The cloud represents the new location of our King. He is no longer in a manger, but our Savior now sits on the throne! He is returned to His former glory.
As you think about the glory of God what does the Holy Spirit say to you?
Do you feel conviction as you think about the glory of God?
As a Christian you and I are the temple of the Holy Spirit, how is your life like or unlike that glorious cloud that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven in?
2. Looking On / They were looking on
Who was looking on?
The onlookers are very important to the skeptic that doesn’t believe in the resurrection. It is important to realize that some of the onlookers we know were the apostles whom He had chosen. (Acts 1:2) As we know from history many of those apostles whom He had chosen are the same individuals who later died a martyr’s death. I have heard it said many times that it is hard enough to believe that someone would die for something they believe, but it is nearly impossible to imagine that someone would die for something they knew to be a lie. Knowing that the disciples looked on combined with the history of their martyr tells me that the resurrection is a reality.