Mk. 16:19, 20; Lk. 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-9
During His last appearance with His apostles, Jesus led them to Mount Olivet, which was at Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem. As they were assembled together, He commanded them to remain in Jerusalem until they had received the Promise of the Father.
The apostles had been informed of this Promise six weeks earlier as Jesus spoke to them the night before His death. At this time, He said, “For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
As Jesus was giving His final parting words, the apostles were still confused about His kingdom. They, like the other Jews had expected the Messiah to establish an earthly kingdom and that had not happened, so they asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus reminded the apostles of their mission by replying, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Immediately before ascending, Jesus raised His hands and blessed the apostles. He was then taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. The last they saw of Jesus, He was blessing them.
While the apostles were still looking up, two men in white apparel (angels) stood by them and stated, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Scriptures elsewhere teach that Jesus will indeed descend and we will meet Him in the clouds.
The apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Jesus returned to the right hand of God where He is sitting now.
Not all of the things that Jesus did and said are recorded in the Scriptures. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
We have concluded our journey through the Gospels and the study of the life of Christ as recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This journey has led us to the beginning of the Christian Age with the establishment of His church that He purchased with his blood on the cross.
We shall now continue our chronological journey with His apostles as they struggled to carry out His plan AND learn how all of this applies to us today.