Acts, number 5 in the series.
Suddenly, Jesus’ feet are lifting off the ground and he is going up in the air. . . those standing round him are immediately drawn to what is happening, rubbing the sand out of their eyes to make sure they are really seeing what they think they are seeing! Yes, Jesus is going up in the air, and then into the clouds, and just like that . . . he has vanished from the earth. Stunner. Mic drop, Jesus. For sure.
Check out the account:
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying.
Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James).They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. Acts 1.9-14
Talk about a bonding experience for this group! It is significant that Luke notes that Jesus' brothers are in the group that day because their presence indicates they now believe in Jesus as the Son of God. John 7.5 records that his brothers did not believe in him - but the resurrection changes everything. Without a doubt, they now know and believe that the one they grew up with is their Messiah. Radical. But the brief 40 days they spend near Jesus goes by quickly, and suddenly he is now gone from their midst.
On their walk back to Jerusalem, what do you suppose they talk about as they cross the Kidron Valley? Or are they silent? Probably both. They talk over each other about what they have seen, and then they are silent.
So, who is this eclectic group of people - the ones Jesus has chosen to see his ascension into Heaven, those who unite in prayer? Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James)…plus Mary, Jesus’ mother, several other women, and Jesus’ brothers. [Interesting to note that this is the last time Mary, Jesus' mother is mentioned in Scripture.]
Jesus' observant friends and family talk about what they ought do next, and then they are quiet. And for once, they choose well. . . they obey the Lord, stay together and pray. They do not know what to expect, but Jesus has told them to tarry in Jerusalem until they receive the Holy Spirit. And they do.
Jesus is coming again, you know. As was told the devoted that day, someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go. . . Jesus is coming again. Paul describes that great and glorious day of his return: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.*
Without a doubt, Jesus' ascension into Heaven was a mic drop.
But one day, he will do it again! I will be there to witness it, you?
We will see him face to face... I simply cannot wait!
I think I might just bust into singing this song by my friend Melody Noel:
Glory, Honor, Power - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eejxamfk5j0
* 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17