I. Why did Luke reiterate the ascension story to Theophilus in Acts 1:9-11 when he gave an account at the end of the gospel of Luke?
1. The book of Acts is about the continuing work of Jesus through the Holy Spirit and the Church. Luke wanted to remind Theophilus that Jesus physically went to heaven and continued his ministry not in a secret hide out somewhere, but sent the Holy Spirit from a place of authority, at the right hand of God.
1 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”(Acts 1:11)
2. Luke wanted to emphasize in Acts 1:11 “This Jesus”, not some other counterfeit Jesus.
a) This Jesus is the same Jesus Luke spoke of in his gospel who visibly and obviously ascended before his disciples eyes (Acts 1:11). This is the same Jesus Stephen would see at the right hand of God in Acts 7:56 and is the same Jesus whom Paul preaches, is the same Jesus who promised to send the Holy Spirit when he left and the same Jesus who is coming back to earth, not as a baby this time, but in the same way he left, with a glorified body to establish His Kingdom on earth once and for all.
3. The ascended and enthroned Christ pours out his Spirit on the church.
Jesus himself had told his disciples that it was good for him to go away, because only then would he send them another Helper, the Spirit of truth (John 16:7-16). And that’s exactly what happened on the Day of Pentecost, ten days after Jesus’ ascension. The Spirit descended on the church with power, inaugurating a new age in the history of salvation.
That’s why Peter connects Jesus’ exaltation and the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2:33:
Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.