"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Christ was raised from the dead.
His life, death and resurrection are historical facts corroborated by numerous sources outside of the Bible and was seen by many eyewitnesses. After Christ was raised from the dead he spent 40 days among the people to mainly demonstrate that he was alive. He appeared to various groups of disciples, proving beyond a doubt that he had been raised from the dead by the power of God. The Apostle Paul wrote that “he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living” (1 Corinthians 15:6).
Jesus also stayed on earth to teach His disciples, and prepare them for the task of telling the world about Christ.
“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” . . . And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.
Then he Ascended!
One day YOU will be able to kneel before him, speak to him, shake his hand, and feel his scars. Think of it!
It is in the Ascension that God exalted Jesus and gave Him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9)
Hebrews tells us, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God . . . let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Heb 4:14-16).
The resurrection was Christ’s triumph over sin and death and the ruler of this world (Satan). The ascension seated Him upon the throne of David (2 Sam.7), the throne that was promised to Jesus by His Father before the world began.
How does Christ’s ascension into heaven benefit us now? Jesus is our advocate before the Father and he is complete humanity in the presence of God; as a result of the ascension, the Son sends the promised Holy Spirit to His people (Pentecost).
We worship and love a man we’ve never seen, Peter wrote to the churches in Asia Minor, “Though you have not seen him, you love him” (1 Peter 1:8. The ascension created the tension that Christians on earth have experienced for almost two millennia: present in the body and absent from the Lord.
It began at Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came to start liberating the nations. Jesus said “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
It continues to this day in heaven, where Christ “stands in the presence of God on our behalf”. Our eternal redemption was secured—not simply by Jesus dying on the cross—but through Jesus entering heaven by means of the cross.
The profound reality is a human sits on heavens throne.
Human History changed dramatically when CHRIST inaugurated his Kingdom as the incarnate Son of God. Christ's Exaltation includes His Resurrection, Descent into Hades, the Ascension, Session at the right hand of God, and Advent as Judge and Consummator of the world's redemption.
Although the descent into Hades remains controversial I believe there is enough scholarly research to establish its validity. You can read more for yourself in the links below. This makes a huge difference in understanding Christ's establishment of his Kingdom. If we just ignore the previous scriptural references to the underworld, the compartments of the Place of the dead, we have a fragmented our understanding of the Kingdom of God.
Philippians 2:6-11, known as the Carmen Christi (“Hymn to Christ”) was used by the early Christian church to explain the pre-existence, incarnation, and the full deity of Jesus Christ. Paul instructs the Philippians to act in a harmonious and humble way, to have an attitude in themselves “which was also in Christ Jesus,” namely, humility.
6 Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Paul then explains the ultimate act of humility: Jesus Christ, God the Son, voluntarily emptied Himself by becoming flesh. In six passages, Paul describes a beautiful and well defined summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ expressing His essential nature as God (including His pre-existence); His Incarnation and work on the cross ( His humiliation); and His exaltation to the Right Hand of God the Father. His role as our Mediator involves two things: His acts of humiliation and exaltation.
In the Book of Acts the resurrection of Jesus is shown to be the means by which Jesus reigns over an everlasting kingdom, and also gives us insight into his universal supremacy over all people in all of human history. All people descended from Adam, and there is only one man who has been raised from the dead who is judge of all people: Jesus Christ. Our proper response is faith and repentance in our lives today and everyday.
As we honor and worship him we know he now occupies the heavenly throne at the right hand of the Father as the victor over sin and death, and continues to rule and guide his church by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Descent of Jesus (Part 1)