40 days after Jesus’ resurrection, (Thursday) Luke records that Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father. (Acts 1)
O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your appointed work
for our sake, You ascended in Glory,
uniting the earthly with the heavenly….
and cried out to those who love You,
“I am with you and no one is against you.”
(ancient hymn for the Feast of the Ascension)
Jesus, in his resurrected body, has ascended to the right hand of the Father where he not only prays (‘intercedes’) for us, (Romans 8:34) but where He is also sitting in the ‘Control Room,’ so to speak as the world’s only rightful Lord! As N.T. Wright (Surprised By Hope) puts it, “Jesus is …ruling the world and will one day return to make that rule complete,” like a new CEO taking charge of a company that is a mess. And we are his messengers, called to work for our Lord’s “new way of doing things.”
It’s part of that tension – living between ‘the already’ of His victory and the ‘not yet’ of engaging our mission.
Are we drawing strength from Jesus’ exalted position? Strength to implement Christ’s Kingdom victory over evil and the Evil One! As the angelic messenger said to the watching disciples, “Why stand ye here gazing…?” (Acts 1, KJV) The Holy Spirit was about to be poured out, bringing all the spiritual gifts and power we need!
As disciples of Christ, we are to discern, deploy, and develop our Spirit-given gifts (charismata), capacities, and passion to serve our exalted Lord for the glory of God and the good of people!
(Jesus) has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. (1 Peter 3:22)