The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ is one of the nine great feasts of the Church in the liturgical calendar, and commemorates each year the bodily Ascension of Jesus into Heaven. Ascension Day is always celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day after Easter day (Acts 1:3). The story of the Ascension of our Lord is stated in the book of the Acts of the Apostles 1:3-11. It is also mentioned in the Gospels of Mark (16:19) and Luke (24:50-53).
In His last stay on earth, Jesus Christ was appeared, forty days after His Resurrection from the dead and commanded to His disciples not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the "Promise of the Father". He stated, "You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" (Acts 1:5).
After Jesus gave these instructions, He led the disciples to the Mount of Olives. Then, He ordered them to be His witnesses "In Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). As the disciples watched, Jesus lifted up His hands, blessed them, and then was taken up out of their sight (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9).
Then they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. Then two angels appeared to them and asked them why they were gazing into heaven. Then one of the angels said, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him going into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
The Ascension of Jesus Christ was vital in a chain of the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Old and New Testament times (Psalms 110:1; Matthew 26:64; John 6:62; John 7:33; John 14:28; John 16:5; John 20:17). A thousand years before the Savior’s birth, David prophesied the ascension of Jesus when he announced the Lord’s enthronement at the Father’s right hand (Psalm 110:1).
The ascension of Christ into heaven endorses contrary to Jewish expectations, the coming of Lord to this world was not to overthrow Rome, and establish an earthly, political administration as stated in different parts of the Bible, (John 6:15; 18:36; Acts 1:6). In contra to the Jewish expectations the ascension of Christ approves the end of His redemptive work and the end of His public ministry of words and works (John 17:4-11; Heb. 1:3; 10:12)
Glory be to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ!