The Ascension of Jesus refers to Jesus Christ bodily ascending to heaven in the presence of his apostles, forty days following his resurrection. This miraculous event is attested in the New Testament, specifically Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:1-12. The event transpires after Christ’s bodily resurrection following his atoning death and sacrificial atonement for the sins of mankind (John 20:17; Acts 1:3). My Reformation Study Bible, ed. by R.C. Sproul, Sr., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1995) offers an exposition upon “The Resurrection of Jesus” (p. 1653). Therein it notes:
Jesus’ ascension was His Father’s act of withdrawing Him from His disciples’ gaze upward (a sign of emotion) into a cloud (a sign of God’s presence, Acts 1:9-11). This act was not a form of space travel, but the next step following the Resurrection of Jesus’ return from death to the height of glory. Jesus foretold the Ascension (John 6:52; 14:2, 12; 16:5, 10, 17, 28;17:5; 20:17), and Luke described it (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-11). Paul celebrates it and affirms Christ’s consequent lordship (Eph. 1:20; 4:8-10; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Tim. 3:16), and Hebrews applies this truth for encouragement of the faint-hearted (Heb. 1:3; 4:14; 9:24). Jesus Christ is the Lord of the universe, a source of enormous encouragement to all believers.
The Ascension was from one standpoint the restoration of the glory of that the Son had before the Incarnation, from another the glorifying of human nature in a way that have never happened before, and from a third the start of a reign that had not existed in this form before. The Ascension establishes three facts.
1. Christ’s Personal Ascendancy.
2. Christ’s Spiritual Omnipresence.
3. Christ’s Heavenly Ministry.