Summary: Celebrating the Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven and what it means for us who remain on earth.
The Ascension of Jesus Christ the Son of God
“When [Jesus] had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.
“Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen.
“After His suffering, He presented Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
“On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about.’
“‘For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
“Then they gathered around Him and asked Him, ‘Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.
“‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
“After He said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”
“While [Jesus] was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.”
“After [Jesus] said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.”
This has been quite a journey!
- Recount the miracles surrounding the birth of Jesus
- When Jesus is taken to the temple to be presented to the Lord both the prophets Simeon and Anna prophesied that He was the Anointed One of Israel
- Jesus gives the first glimpse of Who He really is at the age of 12 when He stays behind in the temple (His Father’s House) discussing the Scriptures with the elders
- God the Father recognizes Jesus as His Son at His baptism and the Holy Spirit descends to Him in the form of a dove
- Over the next three years Jesus:
Preaches and teaches
Heals the sick
Gives sight to the blind
Makes the lame to walk
Opens the ears of the deaf
Enables the mute to speak
Casts out demons
Feeds giant crowds with a few loaves and fishes
Confronts false teachers
Walks on water
Knows the thoughts of people around Him
Raises the dead
Fulfills many Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah
Betrayed by one of His disciples
Tried by a mock court
Beaten until He is unrecognizable
Crucified on a Roman cross until dead
A spear is shoved into His side to make sure that He is dead
He is partially embalmed and placed in a tomb
A heavy stone is placed in front of the tomb and a guard is posted
Three days later Jesus rises from the dead
Over the next 40 days He appears to many different disciples in various places
He promises that He will send the Holy Spirit to be with them
Jesus Ascends into Heaven (or did He?)
The 13th-century Peter of Vaux de Cernay claimed that the earthly Jesus Christ had a relationship with Mary Magdalene, who was His concubine.
Early Mormon leaders Jedediah Grant and Orson Hyde stated it was part of their religious belief that Jesus Christ was not only married but he was polygamous, quoting the 2nd-century Greek philosopher Celsus: "The grand reason why the gentiles and philosophers of his school persecuted Jesus Christ was because he had so many wives. There were Elizabeth and Mary and a host of others that followed him".
The French 19th century socialist politician, Louis Martin, in his 1886 book Les Evangiles sans Dieu (The Gospels Without God) described the historical Jesus as a turned atheist, who had married Mary Magdalene, and that both had travelled to the South of France, where they had a son.