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Ascension

The only narrative of the Ascension which can with confidence be ascribed to the original text of the NT is found in Acts 1:4-11. The reference in Mark 16:19 comes in a passage which is a late addition to the gospel, and the reading in Luke 24:51 is uncertain. The story does not suggest that Jesus was taken on a long journey upward into the sky. It simply states that “he was lifted” (a symbolic movement but not necessarily involving any great distance) and that “a cloud took him out of their sight” (again a symbolic way of veiling His divine presence as it was removed in that mode from earth). The ascension brings to a close the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus (apart from the special one to Saul in Acts 9) and so marks the end of the once-for-all revelation of God in Christ and opens the way for His universal presence through the [[Holy Spirit]].