"And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold. two men stood by them in white robes, 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 1:9-11 RSV).
Because heaven is not located up there, what happened to him in the years after the resurrection until the end of his life?
The author of Acts (who was also the author of the Gospel of Luke) is trying to explain a spiritual experience in human terms. Given their belief that the sky was a kind of blue bowl over the earth, beyond which was the realm of God, the imagery here was extraordinary but understandable. Because we know so much more about the universe today, the question arises: Where did he go?
The answer is this: He once more shed his human form as Jesus and became once again the pure expression of Spirit that was his true identity—just as it is our true identity. And it's true today, as it was then, that this release is very difficult to describe or explain. This episode is leading up to their great, collective Passover experience described in Chapter 2. In a way it's an integral part of that experience. We will not receive our own spiritual awakening if we are focused on a teacher—even if that teacher is Jesus—instead of embracing our own oneness with the Divine.
So the spiritual being that was for a while Jesus of Nazareth, shrugged off the limitations of that role and continued to support, advise, and offer infinite Love to those who chose to follow him. As for his physical body, we can never be sure. Charles Fillmore believed that the very atoms that made up that body are present in the atmosphere today; we know, after all, that nothing is ever destroyed. It returns to the energy from which it was formed. And since the fully-expressing Christ that was Jesus' spiritual Truth became the essence of every cell of his human form, those atoms of Christ awareness become a part of us with every breath.