In this 6th Grade lesson, we study our Lord's Ascension into Heaven.
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Christ in Glory
by Giovanni Battista Gaulli
Ascension Thursday is always exactly 40 days after Easter Sunday. That’s because it was exactly 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection that He went up to Heaven to take His seat at the right hand of the Father.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He didn’t go right up to Heaven. Instead, He stayed on Earth to make sure the Apostles were ready to take over His work and bring the Holy Catholic Church into the world. Jesus knew that the Apostles had their work cut out for them. It wasn’t going to be easy to spread the Good News far and wide when there were no cars or phones or newspapers or computers. The Apostles were going to need a lot of help to spread the Good News and make the Church a reality. For forty days, Jesus stayed and appeared to them and encouraged them. He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait because He was going to send His Holy Spirit to them soon.
On the fortieth day, Jesus went to Heaven. It was time to go back to the Father. They went out to the Mount of Olives. The Acts of the Apostles tell us: For forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus continued to teach His followers. Jesus and the eleven were gathered near Mount Olivet, to the northeast of Bethany. Jesus told His apostles that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit, the “Comforter,” and that they would spread His message the world over, i.e., the Great Commission. Jesus was taken up and received by a cloud. Two men clothed in white (i.e., angels) appeared and told the apostles that Jesus would return in the same manner as He was taken.
We don’t have a lot of details about how it happened, but we know that Jesus, by His own power, rose up into Heaven. The followers of Jesus remained, and they waited until the Holy Spirit would come down upon them, as Jesus had said would happen.
Since Jesus is all God and all man, it was up to Him to decide when and how He would return to Heaven. He went back up to Heaven on His own. He didn’t need any help to accomplish that. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, it was very different from when He died on the cross. At His crucifixion, He was bloody and beaten, nailed to a cross, and pierced with a sword. His Apostles and His Mother were crushed and devastated. At His ascension, though, Jesus was in His perfect and glorified body. Now the Apostles and His Mother were not sobbing and sad. Now they were hopeful and preparing to do His work now that He had retu... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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