39 Forty Days until the Ascension

Dr. Doug Bookman

A. Five Recorded Appearances

Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-49; and John 21:1-25


  1. To the disciples again (Thomas is present and convinced)
  2. To seven disciples beside the Sea of Galilee – Jesus provides a miraculous catch of fishes and re-commissions Peter
  3. To more than 500 people at once in Galilee – Jesus gives them the “Great Commission”
  4. To James, Jesus’s half-brother (mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:7, but nowhere narrated)
  5. To the assembled disciples on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus ascends to the Father

B. The Ascension of the Lord of Life

Scripture: Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; and Acts 1:4-11

Notes: Under the Old Covenant, there was no provision for a chair or bench anywhere in the inner courts of the temple because, under that covenant, the final offering was never made. This was because it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should finally and fully take away sin. On the other hand, Jesus ascended to His Father and sat down (Hebrews 1:3), thus signifying that in His cross-work, the work of atonement for sin was finally and fully done.

Adapted from the Life of Christ study notes of Dr. Doug Bookman, professor of New Testament Exposition at Shepherds Theological Seminary (used by permission).