An Ascending Truth

By Karla Schettenhelm, Children's Ministry
Luke 24: 44-53 and Acts 1:1-11
In this lesson we will learn how Jesus went back to His home in heaven and the special promise He gave before He went.

Introduction

If you are an older child or an adult, you may need to think back to when you were younger to answer these questions.

When we were going to Sunday school at the church, who brought you? What did they tell you before they left? Did they say, “I’ll be back to get you in a little while?” Did they give you a hug or wave goodbye?
When your grandparents come to visit and it’s time for them to go home, do they say, “We love you. We’ll see you again”? Do they give you a hug or wave goodbye?

For a while, Jesus lived on earth so people could see Him. But then it was time for Jesus to go back to His home in heaven. Jesus didn’t wave goodbye. He went back to heaven in an amazing way.

The Story

The account below is taken from the Enduring Faith Bible Curriculum Unit 3, Lesson 8.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to His disciples many times. He spoke to them about the kingdom of God. Jesus wanted the disciples to know that His work of salvation was finished.

Jesus told them that everything that had been written about Him in the Old Testament Scriptures had been fulfilled. He opened their minds to understand Scripture. When Jesus returned to heaven, He would prepare a place for those who believe in Him.

Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to a hill outside of Bethany called the Mount of Olives. Jesus told the disciples that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them. The disciples would be His witnesses. They would tell about the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting to people in Jerusalem and many other places.

When Jesus had said these things. He suddenly started to rise up, up, up off the ground. While they watched, He rose higher and higher into the air until He went up through the clouds and left them. A cloud took Him out of sight.

Now Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. He prays for us and rules everything that happens in the whole world for the good of His Church.

While the disciples were gazing into heaven, two men stood by them. They were angels in white robes. The angels said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come again in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Then, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and went to the temple to worship Him. They were joyful that they were not alone. They waited eagerly for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which God had promised to them.

Watch

For young children watch Jesus Goes to Heaven
For older children and adults watch Jesus’ Ascension

Things to Consider

Read the two Scripture passages this lesson is based on, Luke 24: 44-53 and Acts 1:1-11. Luke wrote both passages. Compare the two readings and identify what is the same in both and what is unique to each.

What did Jesus do, promise, and command before He ascended?

  • He proved Himself alive by appearing many times, and He preached about the kingdom of God.
  • He promised His disciples the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  • He commanded His disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

How did the disciples feel after Jesus ascended?

Usually, when someone we love leaves, we are sad—especially if the person has died. But the disciples were not sad that Jesus left them (He wasn’t dead but alive!)

They rejoiced because they understood that Jesus had accomplished the work of salvation for those who believe in Him. They also had Jesus’ promise that He would always be with them.

The Bible Verse

Matthew 28:20 [Jesus says,] I am with you always.
We cannot see Jesus, but we know He is here. We can be sure He is with us because of a wonderful promise. Jesus gave us that promise in this lesson’s Bible verse. When Jesus makes a promise, we know it is true!

How is Jesus with me even though He ascended?

A short story for younger children:
Buddy was sad when his grandma had to move away. But his grandma promised to call every week so he could hear her voice. She told him he could call her and talk to her, too, whenever he wanted. She gave him a picture of her to put in his room as a reminder that she loves him. And, she promised she would come back to visit him this summer! He knows she loves him a lot!

Jesus loves us too. He promised that He is with us, and He is. He speaks to us in His Word. He listens to our prayers. He gives us the Holy Spirit to make us strong in faith and remind us of His love. And He promises to come back in power and glory someday to take us to live with Him always in our forever home.

For older children and adults
Look at these passages and think about how they show us that Jesus is with us always
Psalm 139:7–10 (God is in all places at all times, and Jesus is God)
John 1:14 (He was physically on earth with us)
Matthew 28:20 (He promises to be with us always)
Matthew 18:20 (He is with us when we gather in His name)
Mark 16:19–20 (Jesus worked with the disciples after He ascended into heaven)

Science

  • Go outside to a concrete area. Bring a dishpan of water and towels. Have children take off their socks and shoes and dip their feet in the water, then walk on the concrete. Watch the footprints disappear. Where did they go? Talk about evaporation. There are some other fun evaporation activities here, How Does Water Evaporate
    • The water ascends like Jesus did. We cannot see the water anymore just like we cannot see Jesus, but He will never go away. Even though we cannot see Him, He promises that He is with us always. He cares for us and blesses us each day.
  • Here is a science experiment showing something ascending like Jesus did. Dancing Raisins show raisins going up (and then coming back down).
  • Jesus ascended into the clouds. You can make a cloud in a jar. 

Arts and Crafts

Find two craft ideas to help tell the story of the Ascension of Jesus here. These will help you retell the account of Jesus’ Ascension. One uses paper and the other a cup that you can use to show Jesus going up into the clouds.

A fun, simple cloud craft is to paint on a folded piece of paper. Use white paint on blue paper to make it realistic as the sky and clouds, or other colors for fun. Paint any shape or blob on one side of the folded paper; paint from the fold out. After painting, fold the paper, rub the paint around, and open up to see the shape of the cloud.

Music

This week’s music focuses on the name of Jesus.
For young children
Jesus Loves Me
Another song to sing to the tune of Jesus Loves Me is this:
Jesus loves me! Hip hooray!
He is with me every day.
He’s at school, at play, at home;
I am never all alone.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
J E S U S (spelling Jesus softer to louder)
J E S U S (Bingo tune)
For older children and adults
In Jesus Name (Third Day)
What A Beautiful Name (Hillsong)
Your Great Name (Natalie Grant)
Jesus (Chris Tomlin)
How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds (The Hymnal Project )

Prayer

Dear Jesus,
You came as a human to fulfill Scripture and be my Savior. Then You ascended to heaven to sit on the right hand of God the Father and prepare a place for me.  Give me the boldness to tell everyone about You.  Thank You for being with me now and always.   
In Your name we pray. Amen.

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