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ACTS - In the Triumphal Procession of Christ
Studies in the Acts of the Apostles
PART 1 - The Foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Syria - Under the Patronage of the Apostle Peter, Guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 - 12)
A - The Growth and Development of the Early Church in Jerusalem (Acts 1 - 7)

2. Christ’ Ascension to Heaven (Acts 1:9-12)

ACTS 1:9-12
9 When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing, 11 who also said, “You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

The disciples realized that Christ was living, and that he had a spiritual body which was not subject to natural laws. He was true man and true God. He accompanied His followers throughout the forty day period following His resurrection in order to enlighten them with the meanings of Old Testament prophecies, especially those concerning His death and resurrection. He finally crowned His teaching with the Promise of the imminent outpouring of the Spirit, whereby the apostles would be filled with the power of God.

This was Christ’s last declaration on earth. There was no need of anything more, for the Holy Spirit had finished Christ’s work. He was ready to depart to His Father. He did not secretly vanish or leave surprisingly, as He sometimes did during the final forty day period, when He would suddenly enter in or exit through walls and closed doors. The One who had been raised from the dead quietly and gloriously rose up to heaven, before the disciples’ very eyes. He overcame the gravitational attraction of the earth, being lighter than air. He was being drawn through the power of love to His Father. The cloud surrounding the holy, glorious God shrouded Him gently and quietly. Christ had finished His work, and was now leaving the realm of man to enter into the invisible glory of God.

The eternal Creator does not merely dwell above in heaven, for our globe is in continual rotation, so that heaven is sometimes up and at other times down. Even the sun is not just above us, but is a huge, fiery ball, one sun among many groups of suns, fleeing into the unknown. Where then is God? And where is Christ? Our Lord gave a decisive, ultimate answer to this question by saying: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God is neither up nor down, but is everywhere present all around us. He is not bound by time and place. No man can comprehend the greatness of God’s glory. Christ used ways of thinking that His disciples could grasp. He ascended upward visibly and openly, for they believed that heaven was above. Christ taught His followers in an understandable manner. Now He was leaving them completely to return to His Father, to sit at His right hand and reign with Him in everlasting unity. Christ and the Father are one. The Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son. He who has seen Christ has seen God. We believe in the Holy Trinity as one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No man can adequately clarify the mystery of this personal unity. The gospel tells us that Christ ascended forty days following His resurrection from the dead, leaving the realm of human beings to enter into heaven, the universe of God. There he sits upon the throne of grace with His Father, with complete glory, love and authority.

The disciples knew that Jesus’ ascension to heaven had brought about a radical change in their lives and in their history. They looked upwards steadfastly, only to see their Lord soon hidden among the clouds. It is good for us, too, to look upwards, and lift our hearts to Christ, where He is with the Father. Our direction is heavenward, and our home is with God, our Father.

The living Lord did not want His disciples to be so fixed on heaven and the things of the next life as to act as though they had been dumbfounded by a religious mirage. He wanted them established on the earth. He suddenly sent two angels from the invisible world, who appeared with great purity, confirming to the disciples that Jesus had truly been taken up into heaven. His ascension was not an optical illusion, but an established fact.

At the same time, the two messengers of Christ testified that the believers’ hope had not ended, for the Lord would come again in the clouds, just as He had gone. The goal of world history is centered in this one announcement - the Lord Jesus Christ will come again! Christianity holds this faith firmly and immovably. Our Lord lives and is coming again, for He loves us and longs for us. We do not know the time of His coming, but we know that He is coming, soon and with certainty. Do you wait for Jesus? Is he the center of your thoughts? Do you love Christ? Do you think of Him daily? Do you direct your prayers towards Him? Do you expectantly await His coming? No one lives wisely and prudently except the one who wait on his Lord.

With a great and wholehearted joy the disciples went down to the Kidron valley. They walked back to Jerusalem from where they had been standing with their Lord, on the Mount of Olives, not far from the Garden of Gethsemane. It was there they had all fallen asleep while their Lord struggled with death and the wrath of God’s anger. Finally, he had been arrested and taken away in chains. Now they were no longer terrified by the nightmare of that awful event, for their hearts were filled with the joy of Christ’s triumph. The glorious tiding of the two angels rang in their minds and in their hearts like the clanging of a huge bell: The Lord is coming. He is coming quickly. He is coming soon.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, You are living, and Your enemies know of Your ascension. You are the Triumphant One who abides in God, the Father. You are coming again. Please teach us the joyfulness of Your triumph, and move our hands and hearts by Your word, so that we may continue to work in our world until You return.


  1. According to the statement of the two angels, how will Christ come again?


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