Luke’s account of the ascension is rather brief. Jesus was with the disciples on the Mount of Olives, and while still blessing them (Luke 24:51), He was taken up to heaven. The language, of course, is phenomenological;
that is, the scene is portrayed as it looked to human eyes, not as it really was. Jesus was leaving the earth, and there is no other way to do so in a visible form than by going up.
The ascension of Jesus was a supernatural act of God, one of many all through the Bible. This is implied by the way Luke describes it, with the passive eperthe (“He was taken up”, Acts 1:9, NKJV). Though used only here in the New Testament, this verbal form is found several times in the Greek version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint), all of them describing actions of God, which suggests that God Himself was the One who took Jesus up to heaven, as He was the One who raised Him from the dead (Acts 2:24, Acts 2:32; Rom. 6:4; Rom. 10:9).
After Jesus already had been hidden by a cloud, Luke reports—only in Acts—the episode of the two figures dressed in white who stood beside the disciples. The description coincides with that of angels in their bright robes (Acts 10:30, John 20:12). They came to assure the disciples that Jesus would come back the same way He had gone up, and it is also only Acts that informs us that Jesus went up “before their very eyes” (Acts 1:9, NIV).
Thus, the visible ascension became the guarantee of the visible return, which also will happen in a cloud, though “with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27), no longer as a private event, as “every eye will see Him” (Rev. 1:7, NKJV), and He will not be alone (Luke 9:26, 2 Thess. 1:7). The glory of the Second Coming will far exceed that of the ascension.
|How can we learn to keep the reality, and promise, of the Second Coming always before us? How should this great truth impact all areas of our life, such as finances, priorities, and moral choices?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons