Christian Message is about Ascension - 1 Peter 3:22
July 14, 2023, 8:00 AM

“who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand-- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

The ascension of Jesus is part of the Christian story. Jesus’ physical body is no longer on earth as described more clearly in the first chapter of Acts. His physical and resurrected body ascended into the clouds and out of sight with the promise of returning again in the same manner.

The ascension message is that He is at “God’s right hand.” The picture is one of authority and intercession. In the role of the high priest Jesus represents us before the Father in heaven. The Son is before the Father, interceding on our behalf. His prayers are ever within the holy place. He is now in heaven as our representative.

The spiritual powers are in submission to Him. All angels and demons are in submission to Him. At the present time, not all creation is acting according to the will of Jesus, but some day, in the Father’s timing, that will also happen.

Jesus did not return to heaven until everything was settled and confirmed by the believers that He was alive again. He had the power over death itself. During this time, He also prepared them for His departure. He made them see that it was to their advantage that He goes away because then the Holy Spirit would come and commune with them and they would be filled with His peace. They were now children of a different world. They were strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. They heard Him speak to them and they were commissioned to proclaim the truth.

Verse 22 points to the glorification of Christ. The right hand of God is a place of honor. This expression of course, is figurative, to point to the shadow of human authority and honor before a sovereign king. This helps us better grasp the truths of respect, love, power, and honor of Jesus the Heavenly Father is giving to Him. He has conquered and is presently ruling. Jesus is the victor! He is in control. He is preparing a place for us and will come again to receive His bride. As He loves us, the Father loves Him and receives us as His own through the work and will of the Son, who delights in serving the Father. It is a beautiful picture which causes us to trust not only in what Jesus did, but what He is presently doing.

As William Barclay writes, "Here is the great belief that there is no created being in heaven or earth outside the empire and the power of Christ. Christ the sufferer has become Christ the victor, and Christ the crucified has become Christ the crowned?"

In the passages of this week Peter pointed to Jesus as our example for being a sufferer, but at the end the proclamation is victory. That's the story! The Death, Burial and Resurrection are the heart of the Christian message. The Ascension reminds us it is already done, but not quite yet realized until He returns.

Prayer:  Come, Lord Jesus.