The Ascension is described as Jesus being taken up into Heaven:
““After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes,
and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking
intently up into the sky as he was going ” Acts 1:9-10 NIV
How literally should we take this?
Luke’s simple, brief description in Acts of this event gives little detail, so maybe the way it happened isn’t quite as simple as it would seem at first sight.
Ascension was, in the context of the Bible, ascending into Heaven but it doesn’t need to be in the physical sense. We can also consider it in the spiritual sense, of passing to a higher plane of life or existence, in other words to join our Father.
The people of the time of the ascension, needed to see something they could comprehend to grasp what was happening; they needed to see Jesus rise, or ascend.
Once out of sight, in the cloud, the physical aspect of the Ascension would no longer have been necessary and so it is at this point when the true Ascension happened, where the visible form of our Lord Jesus Christ dissolved, freeing his soul to join The Father in his realm that we call Heaven.
So was what was it that was seen as Jesus ascending? Was it the same physical body of Jesus as before his crucifixion? Maybe not. It may have had the appearance of a normal, human body but perhaps it was no longer fully human as we understand the meaning. Given the miracles of God, the possibility cannot be dismissed out of hand.
Maybe it wasn’t Jesus’ body at all but a visual manifestation like (forgive my example but I can’t think of a better to describe it) God’s version of a solid hologram, like a character from the holodeck in Star Trek. If this were to be the case, maybe Jesus’ true human remains may still exist on earth, to be discovered some day.
None of this should be taken to imply I don’t believe in the ascension; I do. I just present another way of considering the event.