I believe that Jesus rose into the air bodily and was taken up into the highest of heavens where He was welcomed and exalted to the right hand of God the Father having accomplished a great victory over His enemies through His death and resurrection.
This truth is not simply a historical fact, it is one that gives us as believers great encouragement today. Here are three simple ways we find strength from considering Christ’s ascension and exaltation. It means:
1. There is a place in heaven for me. One of the purposes of his going into heaven was to make this place ready. (John 14:2ff)
2. There is more than a place in heaven for me. I am as good as in heaven already. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He entered as the God-MAN representing us as humans and serving as a forerunner for those who are united to Him through faith. (Hebrews 6:20) The word forerunner obviously means nothing if there are not followers. When you see someone’s head enter a room, you have reason for confidence that his body is going to follow. This is why the Scripture sometimes speaks of believers as being as good as in heaven already. (Colossians 3:1ff; Ephesians 2:6)
3. Because I am as good as in heaven already, I have security in my relationship with God on earth right now. If I were in heaven right now with God delighting in me, I would be pretty confident of course that He loves me. I would wonder if I am going to be condemned. And since I am united to Jesus and Jesus is in heaven right now and God is delighting in him, I have every reason to be sure that God is satisfied with me. (Romans 8:34)