Posted by foryourfaith on April 2, 2010
The Book of Acts began with another report of the ascension. Here Luke stated that Jesus continued to appear to his disciples for 40 days. At the end of that time he charged them to be witnesses from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, and then, “as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” Two men appeared, like the two that spoke to the women at Jesus’ tomb, and interpreted the event to them: “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go to heaven.” Luke did not attempt to resolve the 40-day time difference between his two accounts; it was the meaning of the vent that was crucial.
The Gospel of John also mentions Jesus’ ascension, although he does not describe the event. When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene on the morning of his resurrection he told her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17).
The story of the ascension expressed a mystery that lay at the heart of the early Christian proclamation. The one who had been forsaken by all, and whom the Romans had crucified as criminal, was now exalted by God.