#84 Jesus Ascends
Text: Acts 1:9-11; John 16:7, 20:17; Psalm 68:18
Prop: a poster of Christ in Clouds by Danny Hahlbohm or a wand
Summary: Jesus ascends to heaven in view of his followers.
I want to show you a trick. Look at this jelly bean and watch closely because I'm going to make it disappear. [wave the wand and simply close your hand] Where did it go? [ of course it is still in your hand, but when they say so, move your hand over your mouth slowly, placing the jelly bean in your mouth so they don't notice it and continue to slide your hand to your chin and begin rubbing your chin] Hmm. Where could it be? [show that your hand is empty now] This is an illusion. I didn't really make the jelly bean disappear. I ate it! A good illusionist can make you think you are seeing one thing but it is really a trick. Some illusionists can pretend to levitate, or cause their body (or someone else) to float up in the air. Today I want to tell you about the day that Jesus ascended, or floated up in the air all the way to heaven (and it was no trick!).
After Jesus rose from the dead he stayed on earth for forty days. During this time he showed himself to many people to prove that he had risen. Some of the people that saw him included Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), the two men on the road to Emmaus, over five hundred followers at one time (1Cor. 15:6), and the disciples. One time the disciples saw Jesus was the day he ascended to heaven.
Jesus told his disciples why he had to go to heaven. It was so he could send the Holy Spirit to dwell with his believers. [Read John 16:7] It was foretold in the Bible long ago that Jesus would ascend to heaven in Psalm 68:18 Thou has ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive.† Even Jesus told that he would ascend shortly after he rose from the tomb (John 20:17). So as Jesus stood on Mt. Olivet a little way from Jerusalem he told his disciples to wait on the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4), or wait in Jerusalem until he had sent his Spirit to give them power to spread the gospel.
Then Jesus began to float up in the air! He slowly rose higher and higher until he disappeared from their sight into a cloud. Wow! Then two angels appeared beside the disciples and told them that one day Jesus would return in the same manner that he had left. Next week we will learn what happened ten days later at Pentecost.
©2000 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
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