He Was Taken Up!
To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion [after he suffered] by many infallible [indisputable, conclusive] proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Jesus Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan, and was buried before sunset.
God raised him from the dead on Saturday, the 17th of Nisan, before sunset.
For forty days he ‘presented himself alive’ doing ‘many indisputable proofs’. On the 40th day, Thursday, the 27th of Iyar (2nd month), he was ‘taken up’ by God into heaven.
Ten days later on Sunday, the 8th of Sivan, the Day of Pentecost that year, God poured out His gift, holy spirit, which is ‘power from on high’ and ‘the promise of the Father'.
Tradition says that forty days after his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ ‘ascended’ into heaven. The Word of God says he was ‘taken up’. Which one is right? Man’s tradition or God’s Word? To ‘be taken up’ is much different than ‘to ascend’. To ‘ascend’ the stairs is not the same as being ‘taken up’ the stairs, is it? Jesus Christ was taken up by God on that fortieth day.
But ye shall receive power, after [when] the holy spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up epairō]; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men [these ‘men’ are two angels] stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which was taken up [analambanō] from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
This record in Acts 1 says he ‘was taken up’ in both verses 9 and 11. Although these are two different verbs in the Greek text, they are synonyms, both describing the same action. The Greek word translated ‘taken up’ in verse 9 is epairō. This is a combination of airō, meaning ‘to lift up’ or ‘to raise up’, prefixed with the word epi which means ‘upon’.
In verse 11 the Greek word is analambanō. This is a combination of lambanō, meaning ‘to receive’ or ‘to take’, prefixed with the word ana which means ‘up’.
Later in the same chapter Peter is speaking to the apostles and others about replacing the apostle Judas. Peter speaks about ‘the lord Jesus’ and mentions that noteworthy fortieth day in which ‘he was taken up’.
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up [analambanō] from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
There are two other references to Jesus Christ being ‘taken up’ where the same word analambanō is found in the Greek text and translated ‘received up’ (which is perfectly appropriate). The first of these two records is in the final chapter of the Gospel of Mark which recounts several things said and done during the forty days after his resurrection.
So then after the lord had spoken unto them [the apostles], he was received up [analambanō] into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. MARK 16:19
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by God and forty days later taken up into heaven. Then Christ was seated at the right hand of God, highly exalted by God and given a name which is above every name!
Which He [God] wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [age], but also in that [age] which is to come. EPHESIANS 1:20-21
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
The Word of God teaches us that we also, together with Christ, were ‘quickened’ (made alive) by God. Also, God raised us up together with him and He also seated us together with Christ in the heavenlies! This is our spiritual identity. As he is so are we in this world.
Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened [made alive] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And [God] hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
The final usage of the word analambanō referring to the lord Jesus Christ being taken up into heaven on that fortieth day is in Paul’s first epistle to Timothy.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: which was manifested in the flesh, justified by the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the nations, believed on in the world, received up [analambanō] into [in] glory.
I TIMOTHY 3:16
In glory he was taken up and seated at God’s right hand. There’s a day coming when he ‘shall so come in like manner’ just as they saw ‘him go into heaven’ on that fortieth day!