Take a look at the calendar on your wall. You may find something on Thursday, May 9, 2013, that says “Ascension Day.” And just maybe you’re wondering, “What on earth is that?”
Ascension Day marks the day when Jesus Christ ascended up into Heaven. It was 40 days after his resurrection from the dead, which was on Easter Sunday (in A.D. 30). If you begin with Easter Sunday (March 31, 2013) and count 40 days, you end up on Thursday, May 9.
The Biblical account of the Ascension appears in the book of Acts, chapter one:
After his suffering, he (Jesus) showed himself to these men (the apostles) 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.”
So when they met together, they 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 on 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.”
Acts 1:3–11, NIV
To me, the most awesome thing about this account is not that he ascended up into heaven (which was certainly amazing), but that he will come back in the same way! We who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior will meet him in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17). And that day is coming soon… possibly much sooner than we think, considering that 1,988 years have already passed since His Ascension!
For further reading, surf to Annie’s “Ascension Day” Page.