The Bible is filled with amazing details which are sometimes missed. This is the case in the passages which we will consider in this article. Jesus ascended from the mount called Olivet (Acts 1:9-12 cf. Luke 24:50-53). Is there a significance?
1. The Book of Ezekiel
“And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city” (Ezekiel 11:23).
The glory of the LORD is mentioned. (1) The glory of the LORD once filled the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35). (2) It later departed from Israel (1 Samuel 4:21-22). (3) The glory of the LORD once filled the Temple (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 7:1-3). (4) It is now pictured as again departing. It departs the Temple and the city of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 10:18-19; 11:22-23). Destruction is coming (Ezekiel 12).
The mountain which is on the east side of the city is mentioned. This mountain to the east is the Mount of Olives or Olivet (olive garden). Baker’s Bible Atlas says, “Paralleling the eastern elevation of Jerusalem, separated from it by the Kidron Valley, is the mile-long range of limestone hills known as the Mount of Olives or Olivet (elevation about 2,680)” (p. 142).
Jesus was (is) the glory of the LORD. John wrote, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The writer of Hebrews said of Jesus, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:3). James referred to Jesus as “the Lord of glory” (James 2:1).
Jesus ascended from the mount called Olivet (Acts 1:9-12). Baker’s Bible Atlas says, “The summit of Olivet, is often called the Mount of Ascension” (ibid). Destruction of Jerusalem would follow (Matthew 23:37-38; 24:15-16 cf. Luke 21:20-21). The place of His departure is significant. It connects Jesus’ departure with the departure of the glory of the LORD in Ezekiel’s day.
It is important that we keep Jesus within us. Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17). Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). We are exhorted “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). It would indeed be sad for Him to not be in us (Romans 8:9-11; John 14:23 cf. 15:6).