This is the last physical sight of the Lord for the early church. There have been no appearances of the Lord since apart from that to the apostle Paul. The sight of Lord's departure is given as an encouragement. It was a sight given to encourage not only the early church, but the church down through the ages.
1. Christ ascends in power through suffering - They saw his hands which are the marks of his passion - But the intent is not to focus not on the suffering - He was carried up into heaven - Clouds are not mentioned here but are certainly implied - The cloud in Old Testament scripture is a reference to a manifestation of the Lord's presence and his glory (Ex 20:34) - So this is an ascension in power, glory, and triumph - He is not defeated but has triumphed over the enemies of sin, Satan, and death - The last sight we have of our Savior is of triumph, not defeat - And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy - is it any wonder?
2. He ascends to pray for the saints - That is what he did prior to ascending - And he lifted up his hands and blessed them (v 50) - And this is what he is doing now - The one who ascends is not just a man, but the God-man - His glorified humanity is not omni-present - He is forever the suitable savior for sinners and he is that mediator forever - He ascends as the God-man to pray - He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities - He ascends to pray for all the grace that we need - His ascension and intercession is linked with our perseverance
3. He ascends to give power for service - God sends his Sprit in His sovereignty to empower his people - But he also sends his Spirit in answer to prayer