Questions 137 & 138

After Jesus* rose from death, more than 500 hundred people saw him. He appeared to all of the disciples* and spent time with them. He taught them many things from the Old Testament* that they had not understood before. He also told them to go into all the world and tell the gospel* story to everyone.[1]

 

After 40 days, he went with some of his disciples out of town. While they were talking, Jesus began to go up into the sky. The word ‘ascend’ means to go up. So, Christians call the time when Jesus went up to return to his Father in heaven, the Ascension. While the disciples watched, he went into a cloud. He continued up into the sky until they could no longer see him.

 

Jesus had told his disciples that he would soon return to his Father. That is what happened.

 

While they were looking up into the sky, two men appeared to them. These men had on white clothing. They were angels.* They asked them, ‘Why are you looking into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come again in this same way.[2]’ But until that day comes, Jesus will be with the Father in heaven.

 

The New Testament* tells us some things about what Jesus is now doing in heaven. Sometimes, the scriptures* say, Jesus is in heaven, standing, ready to take action.[3] Sometimes, he is walking among his people there.[4] But the New Testament most often says that Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand.[5] He does not sit by his Father to rest. He sits there to rule. The right side of the Father is a place of authority.

 

The scripture also says that Jesus is Lord* of all. And because of what he did on the cross,* God the Father has given him a name above every name. He has given Jesus the right to rule all of heaven and earth.[6]

 

Jesus is also at the Father’s side to act as our mediator.* A mediator is a go-between. A mediator stands between two people or nations that are at war. And he brings them together to find peace.* So Jesus speaks to the Father for us to bring peace between us.

 

The scriptures tell us that we were God’s enemies. We had turned against God and refused to obey his law.* So, because we had done these things, God was going to judge us and punish us for what we had done. But God the Father sent His Son to be our Mediator instead.[7]

 

Jesus came to be one of us. He did all that the Father asked of him. He obeyed God’s law in every way. Then he went to the cross. He died there to take the punishment that we deserve. He died so that we did not have to. Now, he is at the Father’s side and speaks to the Father for us.

 

Once Jesus sat down at the right hand of God the Father, the Father, then, sent the Holy Spirit* to us.[8] He sent the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. And the Father sent the Holy Spirit to help us to bring honor* to Himself and the Son.

 

Paul* teaches that, some day, Jesus will return to earth from the sky. He will come in a physical body.[9] There will be trumpets playing loudly. An angel will make a loud shout. The believers* who have already died and been buried will come alive again. And they will join Jesus in the air. Then the believers who are still alive on the earth will be taken up into the air also.[10] They will join Jesus in the air. Then, with them, Jesus will return to the earth. He will raise the dead and he will judge all of the men and women who have ever lived.[11] He will welcome those who have trusted him. He will punish those who did not. Jesus will bring an end to this world as it is now. And will make all things new.[12]


[1] Mark 16:15
[2] Acts 1:9-11
[3] Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:1-16; Revelation 14:1
[4] Revelation 2:1
[5] Ephesians 3:20; 1 Peter 3:22
[6] Matthew 28:18-20; Philippians 2:9; Colossians 2:10
[7] 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15
[8] John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7
[9] Matthew 24:44; Acts 1:11; Colossians 3:4; 2 Timothy 4:8; Hebrews 9:28
[10] 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
[11] Matthew 25:31; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:10
[12] Matthew 19:28; Romans 8:19-21; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:5