Have you ever wondered why Jesus left this earth like a space rocket slowly lifting off, only without the loud roar and billowing smoke? Why not an instantaneous disappearance?
Clive Staples Lewis writes, “Perhaps mere instantaneous vanishing would make us feel more comfortable. A sudden break . . . would worry us less than any . . . short vertical movement and then a vague luminosity . . . and then nothing.”
Jesus chose a visible way to prepare His disciples for the drastic change that was about to occur in their relationship to Him. Their faith had been born and nurtured in a physical acquaintance with Jesus. From now on they would relate to Him in a totally different way. They would experience His invisible presence through the Comforter who would never leave them. So this was His last act to prepare them for what was to come.
Another reason for His visible ascension is that it fixed in the disciples’ hearts a solid hope for the day when He would return “in like manner” (Acts 1:11).
Ascension Day reminds us of these truths. If we’ve trusted Jesus as our Savior, we have the abiding presence of His Spirit and the assurance of one day seeing the Lord face to face. – Dennis J. De Haan
He who came to save us, He who bled and died,
Now is crowned with glory at His Father’s side;
Nevermore to suffer, never more to die,
Jesus, King of glory, is gone up on high. – Havergal
Christ departed so that His Spirit could be imparted.
- May 9, 1991, Our Daily Bread