Left Behind: The Ascension Of Jesus

May 28, 2017 | Tom Swanson | Acts 1:1-11


Getting Acquainted

1) Have you ever been left behind somewhere, as a child or as an adult, whether in a physical sense or more in an emotional sense? What was that like?  

Getting into the Bible

2) As you look at the ascension of Jesus, read Isaiah 52:13-15. The Servant in Isaiah is a term for the Messiah, so what do we read here about the Messiah (about Jesus)? Where is he at? What is he doing? What is his influence? Isaiah 53 is the well known prophecy of the brutal death of the Servant. Do you have any ideas why the triumphant words of Isaiah 52 might come before the somber words of Isaiah 53?

3) We might ask ourselves, since Jesus left us, what is he doing now? Read John 14:1-3, Hebrews 1:1-4, Hebrews 4:14-16, Romans 8:31-34, 1 John 2:1 and Ephesians 1:20-23 for some ideas. What do these present activities of Jesus communicate to you? Is there a way in which knowing this is a comfort or help to you?

Working it out in Life

4) Is there something in particular about last week’s message that you want to discuss together with the group? What is it?

5) We read in Acts 1:1 that in his gospel Luke relayed the things that Jesus began to do and teach. The implication is that the book of Acts (and the history of the Church beyond that) shows what is being done in Jesus’ name and thus continues the work he began. What are some examples that you see at CWF of the continuing work of Jesus? What are some examples from your own life that don’t happen at or through CWF that could be seen as continuing the work that Jesus started?

6) In the message on the Ascension we tried to look a bit at things from the perspective of Jesus. For example, how would he view the fact that his work was done and that he was returning home? Of course, our insights are limited as our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Even so, do you find it helpful to consider it in this case? Does it make a difference to you to see Jesus’ joyful anticipation of Ascension Day? What difference does that make? What difference does it make to you that he is anxiously waiting for when we can be with him in the place he’s prepared for us (John 17:24)?  

Digging Deeper

7) Jesus left us behind, but he did not leave us alone after the Ascension. He sent the Spirit to be his presence in the world and in our lives. What is it that you find to be the most meaningful to you in your current life situation when you think about the ministry of the Holy Spirit? How specifically do you see the Spirit’s help in your life?

8) The Ascension reminds us that we have work to do as we continue what Jesus started and it also reminds us that Jesus will come back. How do those two reminders impact your thinking and evaluation of your life? Do you find these truths to be motivating in some way? How?

Series title: --

Message 1: May 28, 2017

Message title: Left Behind 

Message Scripture: Acts 1:1-11

Message summary: The very words speak of a deep sorrow: left behind. Who hasn’t been physically or emotionally left behind? We have memories as a child waiting for a distracted parent, as a teen watching for friends who didn’t show or as an adult missing yet another promotion. Being left behind can bring fear, hurt and discouragement into our hearts. It’s hard to imagine being left behind could ever be a good thing. But it is! Today we’ll look at our being left behind from the perspective of the one leaving. And we’ll find hope, purpose and joy!  


1) The job is done   1:1-3

2) The transition takes place   1:4-8

3) The glory is restored   1:9

4) The anticipation begins   1:10-11