Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven – Acts 1:11
Five times in this first chapter of Acts the literal visibility of Christ’s ascension is emphasized. There is nothing figurative or symbolic about the language here.
The ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven was personal and visible. His return, the angels declare, will be in like manner.
But why the question from the angels? It seems obvious that the supernatural spectacle of Jesus rising into heaven and disappeared into a glorious cloud would leave anyone standing and gaping in wonder.
But then the angels make this sobering, encouraging announcement: Jesus is coming back! Although the disciples stood gazing in a sweet, love-struck heart sickness at the departure of Christ, they can’t stay there. Now that Jesus is gone, and because he promises to return, the earth—not the sky—must be the focus of their gaze and their labors.
The same admonition is good for us today, isn’t it? While we look by faith toward heaven, we must for now focus our labors upon earth. We have work to do, in expectation of our Savior’s return.
Jesus is returning soon. Every eye will see him and every knee will bow to him. But the important question is how will you see him when he comes? Will you see him as ruler and judge, or as redeemer and savior?