Hey! I figured out (to my satisfaction) why Jesus ascended into the clouds. (Did I tell you this already?)
It was out of love for his disciples! (surprise!)
Jesus had already demonstrated that he could simply be wherever he wanted to be, so he could have simply gone to be with the Father. And we know that heaven isn’t physically above the cloud canopy (we’ve been there). So what’s with the levitation party trick? The answer is that the disciples needed a transitional moment. Jesus had appeared to them several times and now he needed to make it clear to them that this was different. They should not be waiting around for him to appear physically again. They didn’t need an explanation of the universe, they simply needed to understand that he wouldn’t physically appear to them again. So he did a little transitional thing that helped them understand within their perception of reality that he was ‘leaving’ for the time being. So, he physically moved his body toward where their idea of heaven was.
Which, of course, really shows us how loving Jesus is. He is willing to do something that is, in a way, kind of silly. But, this is what his disciples need. Just like parents sometimes do things they don’t need to do just for the comfort of their children. If Jesus’ pride had been operative, he would have said, “I’m not going to do this stupid little thing. I don’t NEED to, and besides, it’s only serving their ignorance.” But he didn’t. He humbled himself to create the transitional moment that they needed within their level of understanding.
Man, Jesus was cool!