There were more unimaginable things to come. Not only did Messiah have His sights set on much bigger goals than restoring the Kingdom to Israel, but His methods were beyond anything anyone had conceived of. After He’d finished His explanation and His instructions about carrying their testimony of Him to the farthest corners of the earth, He took off! No one had been expecting that. He just shot up into the air as if something were lifting Him, not like a bird, more like an arrow fired straight upwards. He just ascended, growing smaller and smaller to the eyes until He was nothing but a distant speck and they squinted to see Him against the sunlight. Finally even the speck disappeared as the clouds closed over Him.
Everyone was mystified. What was He doing? Where was He going? When would He be back? Was He going to descend again? They had been told to await the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Maybe He had gone to fetch this Spirit and would be back in a moment. They stood peering into the sky, watching for signs of Him descending again and bringing the promise with Him. They watched and waited in vain. No trace of Him could be seen.
They were gazing so intently, they didn’t see or hear anyone approaching. When someone suddenly asked, “Why are you all just standing there, staring into the sky?” everyone nearly jumped out of their skin. They looked round and saw two men in white looking at them with a half-smile of amusement. “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you not just into the sky but into heaven itself, will return in the same way that you’ve seen Him go into heaven.” They turned and began to walk away, pausing occasionally to look back at the waiting group, shaking their heads with that same look of kindly amusement.
And so it began to dawn on everyone that His return, certain though it was, would not be imminent. With that they left, to do what He had instructed them, which was not to leave Jerusalem but to wait until the Father sent them what He had promised.