Q: Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension?
A: Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit.
Scripture Reference: Romans 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
(All Scripture references are from ESV)
Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this mean in my relationship with God?
The word “ascension” is not something we hear regularly. If we were under a monarchy, with a king and queen, we would understand it more fully. Ascension is the act of rising to an important position, such as a prince would rise to become King.
On the day that Jesus ascended into heaven he gave us both a litteral and a figurative image of who he is. He rose above the earth–He is greater than this world, and it’s limitations do not hinder Him. He rose to sit at the right hand of God–He has power to rule over creation, given to Him by God. As people who have confessed that Jesus is Lord we belong to Him, we are even given the same inheritance as Him. In God’s eyes, if we have united ourselves with Christ, we are clean. We are now able to come boldly to God and approach Him as a son or daughter.
Matthew 25:31-34 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Ephesians 1:5-7 “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this mean in my relationship with humanity?
Jesus was the best example of how to live out the truth of who He ultimately was. He is King. How should you live if you are under the rule of a king? We, in 21st century America, have a hard time understanding what it means to be “ruled”. Many of us are threatened even by the thought that we must answer to a law put in place by men. How will we ever be able to submit to Jesus, who is ruling from his throne right now?
The most important law, Jesus said, was to love God, and to love people as yourself. In submission to him we should strive to live that out. We love God by obeying him. We love people by treating them the way we treat ourselves–feeding, clothing, and sharing the love of Christ.
Luke 10:27 “And He answered, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 25:34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action
Spend some time this week thinking about what life should be like as a person who is being ruled by a King. When you and I decided to accept Jesus as our Lord, we agreed with him that He is in charge of our lives. We agreed to try to live a life like his and to live it for Him. Our lives no longer belong to us. We are IN Christ.
Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.