It’s Ascension Day today when Christians all over the world remember that forty days after Easter Jesus ascended into heaven. For Ascension, here is the second of four thoughts about what Jesus is doing now.
2. Jesus is Reigning
In the first of these posts we thought about the fact that Jesus is sitting. Now I want to go on and think about the fact that Jesus is reigning as the king of the cosmos.
Paul writing to the Christians at Ephesus reminds them of God’s great power and says that this was displayed in the Father’s raising of Jesus. He says…:
“….that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:20-23)
Maybe you are not one of those people who reads the the small print in every contract carefully in order to find out what is and is not covered, but notice carefully what is covered by the rule of Christ.
Christ’s rule is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” and it covers “all things” in every age. It is a comprehensive reign, there is nothing left out!
Grasping that affects how we see the world around us. We might be uneasy about recent political developments. We might wonder how changes on the horizon will affect us. But we need to ave confidence that Jesus reigns over all of it.
Abraham Kuiper famously wrote “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
Now we have already looked at the texts that talk about Jesus sitting dawn, and its clear in each of those that Jesus’ reign might be real but its not recognised or welcomed yet. In Psalm 110:1, Acts 2:35 and Hebrews 1:13 we read ““Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”
But there will come a day when the opponents of Jesus reign will have to bow and acknowledge that he is the rightful king of the cosmos.
I think Hebrews 2:8 is helpful in capturing how things stand at present:
“Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Heb 2:9)
Jesus reigns over all things but right now as we look around at the world it so often seems as if that is not the case. There is so much going on that shakes our faith and seems to fly in the face of the claim that Jesus is reigning over the cosmos. So what do we do?
Well we understand that the Bible is clear that that is where we live now. We live in the times where: “We do not yet see everything is subjection to him.” Understanding that helps us not to become unsettled and disturbed by the things that go on around us.
And we live with hope. We live with the confident expectation that it will not always be like this. We may not yet see everything in subjection to him, but one day we will. The Father’s promise to the Son is that one day his enemies will be made a footstool for his feet. That is to say that they will bow and acknowledge that he is Lord.
And we pray. We pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
And we live acknowledging and rejoicing in the rule of Christ before a watching world.
In the first of these reflections on the theme of Ascension I reminded us that Jesus is sitting. You might ask: “What is he sitting on?” Make no mistake. He is seated on the throne of the cosmos.