I Saw the Lord
It has been rightly said that heaven never gets over the cross, for the most used name for Jesus in the book of Revelation is “The Lamb who was slain.” But we should not let that truth keep us from seeing how exalted, how high and lifted up the Lamb is on the other side of the cross, as He sits upon the throne at the right hand of the Father, adored by saints and angels and heavenly creatures which defy description, reigning over all of Creation.
We do, justifiably, put emphasis on the cross and Jesus’ death, for that is where atonement was made and forgiveness and redemption achieved. If there had been no cross, there would be no salvation. But the same can be said of the resurrection. If Jesus had merely died for our sins, but had not been resurrected from the dead, our faith would be worthless. Christ’s resurrection was the Father’s seal of approval on what His Son had done. The resurrection declared that the sacrifice had been accepted, and Jesus had perfectly fulfilled the law. Paul tells us that if Christ had not been raised, our faith is in vain (1 Cor. 15:14). So the resurrection was not just a good thing for Jesus, it is an essential thing for us.
The ascension, too, though it gets less recognition in the church calendar and preaching in the Evangelical wing of the Christian Church than among our more liturgical brethren, is a vital aspect of our faith. It, too, is a sign of the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice. It is the next step in the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant which says that David’s promised offspring would reign forever, and that He would have all His enemies as His footstool.
His reign is the source of our power, for He is above all other authorities (Eph. 1). Notice that this passage does not say He will be above them all. He IS, currently. Not only that, we are seated with Him in heavenly places (Eph. 2)—Again, not will be, but are. How can that be? How can we be consciously present on this earth, yet also seated with Him? There are some questions we will not be able to answer fully while we live in this Shadow Land, but once we become believers, we are spiritually “in Christ.” We are “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). We enter into a mystical union with the Godhead, which we share with all the saints. We ARE seated with Christ in heavenly places, even though our earth-bound bodies and minds have yet to perceive it. It is something we must take on faith, and appropriate its powerful truth in our lives, asking God to show us what that means to our daily walk with Him.
One day we will behold Him as He is, and in that moment we will be made like Him (1 John 3:2). God will complete His work in us as individuals, and make us spotless, as we are corporately the Bride. As the anthem says, we will be among millions (as the Bride), yet alone, in a sense, at the same time. Such is the dynamic of God’s interaction with His people, seeing us in both corporate and individual ways.
When I was a kid I wondered if I’d ever get close to Jesus in heaven with so many other people there, but I figured with eternity, it would eventually be my turn. But now I suspect that just as our experiences with God are both corporate and individual on earth, they will be so in heaven, as well. We may be limited in our ability to attend to multiple people at one time, but the Lord, who holds all things together in Himself will not be thus limited. He is able to see each of us as clearly in those masses as if we were the only one.
Our desire for that day is most likely in direct proportion to how much time we press our noses upon that dim window of eternity and attempt to peer at what awaits us in the glory of His presence. We would do well to think more of those heavenly days to come. It’s difficult, because it is so far beyond our imagination, but Scripture does give us hints and glimpses upon which we can meditate. Passages like Isaiah 6, and the Book of Revelation are obvious places to start. But Philippians 2, and portions of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah also give us glimpses of our exalted God. These have been given to us to tantalize us, and fan the flames of hope, expectation and worship.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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