The Gospel Story: He Ascends and Sits

I hear very little conversation about the importance of Jesus’s ascension and enthronement next to the Father. But it’s crucial. It’s an element of the gospel which if removed would cause the house to crumble. We must not neglect it.

In the life of Jesus Christ, we see his righteousness--it’s tangible. He did not sin.

In the death of Jesus Christ, we see the punishment for our sins on him and are robed in righteousness not our own. We are justified.

In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we see the new life we hope and long for. We will rise up alongside of him.

In the ascension and enthronement of Jesus Christ, we see our advocate sitting on a throne. He will never abandon us.

As he sits on the throne of heaven at the right hand of the Father, Jesus reminds us we have access to the throne of grace. No charges will stick. He sits as judge. When the accuser approaches that throne hurling accusations, he cries out, “These wounds! These wounds! They bled for all! // My blood was shed is that too small?” Martin Luther hits this note when says,

When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made a satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there I shall be also.” Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. and ed., Theodore G. Tappert, 1960, (Vancouver, BC: Regent College Publishing, 2003).

As long as he sits enthroned in heaven, we stand justified before God. His presence on that throne reminds us continually we are adopted by God and co-heirs with Christ. Rejoice! “For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).