We believe…Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
This is an essential part of the Nicene Creed, core to our understanding of who Jesus is and what he’s doing. Luke’s description of this event in chapter 24 of his Gospel is so brief, and we’re so familiar with the story, that perhaps we forget that the Ascension of Jesus Christ is mind-blowing.
Just for starters, he defies gravity. Then, like something out of a Marvel movie, he crosses between physical and spiritual realms; the eternal God the Son remains in his resurrected, God-made-flesh body while simultaneously remaining within the spiritual unity of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He also fulfills Old Testament types and promises and prophecies, and becomes a bridge between the present world and the age to come—the “already” of the present world and the “not yet” of the world to come overlapping and meeting in Jesus Christ, seated on his throne at the right of the Father.
As we remember this awe-full moment today, I want to emphasize two understandings.
First, the Ascension means Jesus is King over all, and his authority extends into every crevice of creation. As liturgist Doug McKelvey writes, “Our thoughts of you, O Lord, have been too small, too few—for seldom have we considered how specific is the exercising of your authority, extending as it does into the myriad particulars of creation. There is no quarter over which you are not king.”
Second, Jesus uses his authority to intercede for us. Jesus is praying for you, for me, for this world. In the letter to the Hebrews it says, “[Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (7.25). King Jesus sits at the right of the Father, seeing every corner of creation, and having authority over it all, he leans over to him and says, “Father, forgive. Father, redeem. Father, restore. Father, your kingdom come, your will be done there on earth as it is here in Heaven.”
This day, and this upcoming Sunday, entrust your needs, fears, and concerns into the care of our Ascended King and Older Brother, who has the compassion and authority to intervene in every crevice of your life.
Your Pastor in Christ,