Jesus the Ascended One: Seated at the Right Hand of God
Life of Jesus • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 32:06
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JESUS THE ASCENDED ONE: SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD Luke 24:50–53; Acts 1:9–12; Ephesians 1:20–23, MHAFB, 26 May 19 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Series: Life of Jesus / Topics: Life of Jesus; Ascension of Christ Before Service: Pray with leadership team Songs for Worship: The Everlasting God, Jesus Messiah, There is a Redeemer, Forever Opening Verse: Psalm 110 (68) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Slide: Transition to Sermon, Psalm 119:105) Introduction 1. Attention: a. What are some modern equivalents to crowning a king? (Assumption of Command, Presidential Inauguration, Installation or Induction ceremony, Institution, commencement, inception, investiture, appointment, swearing-in, commissioning, designation) i. In the OT days they would ‘anoint’ someone (origins of the Hb. word, "Messiah”) b. Today we’re going to be looking at a very special ‘crowning,’ or ‘Assumption of Command.’ i. Slide: Title a & b) Jesus the Ascended: Seated at the Right Hand of God 2. Verses 1: a. Context: In regards to Jesus’ time on earth, this event took place 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection. i. During those 40 days, Jesus... 1. ...presented Himself alive to them with many convincing proofs & 2. ...opened their minds to understand the scriptures, while… 3. ...teaching them many things about the Kingdom of God ii. We’ll start in Luke 24:50 & then jump over to Acts 1:9 to read the narration b. 3 Slides: Passages) i. Luke 24:50-53, “50 Then he led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 And while he was blessing them, he left them and was carried up into heaven. 52 After worshiping him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple praising God.” 1. Now, turn with me two books over where you see Luke give a few more details on this eventii. Acts 1:9-12, “9 After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away.” 3. Big Picture: Imagine this situation—It can stir the imagination! a. What it was like? i. Slides: Ascension Pics-a) Did a brilliant light shine down on Him? ii. AP-b & c) Did He raise up His hands to heaven or have them extended in love to His disciples below? iii. AP-d & e) Was He greeted by angels from above? iv. AP-f) What happened when He was hidden from view by the cloud? v. AP-g) What were the disciples feeling & thinking at that time? b. In many ways, though, such questions focused on the event itself can actually distract us from what this event means! c. The Bible itself even focuses more on the meaning of Jesus’ ascension than on the event itself i. The Gospel authors of Matthew & John do not even describe the event happening! d. The Bible’s focus is instead on the position & work (status & service) that Jesus “ascended to!” i. And so today, instead of looking at the narrative elements of Jesus’ ascension, 1. We will focus on the implications of Jesus’ ascension ii. Slide: Thesis: In so doing, I hope that you will see… 1. The ascended Jesus is glorified & empowered over all, where He serves as head of His church. iii. The biblical writings of Luke, John, Paul, Matthew, Peter, Hebrews authors, & even the Old Testament Prophet of Daniel all share elements of what Jesus ascended to & what that means for us! 1. And so today we will have many cross-references— a. Check the sermon notes to keep up, b. Use the notes I post on our informal Facebook page to fill in anything you miss, c. And both study & pray over these more this week! 4. Transition: Now, with that said, let’s turn our eyes to the Bible’s focus on the status & service that Jesus ascended to—and we will first look at… The Status of the Ascended Jesus: Verses: 1. Paul well summarizes the status that Jesus ascended to when speaking to the Church of Ephesus about the power of God toward us who believe; Paul shares of God... Slide: Passage) Ephesians 1:20–23 CSB 20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens—21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. Main Point 1-a) Explain: 1. In the biblical times, the “right hand” was a place of honor & authority 2. MP1-b) Honor: (Glorified) If you seated someone to your right, you were glorifying them be seated there was to be glorified by this person—it demonstrated their importance (or ‘weightiness’) to you a. By placing Jesus at His right hand, the Father restored to Jesus the glory that He had before the world was (John 17:1-5) b. And as Paul shares i. in Philippians 2:9, "God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name” ii. or here in Ephesians 1:21, as he shared that Jesus is “far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come." iii. or in Colossians 1:15-20 where he shares that Jesus is “15 the firstborn over all creation” and that “16b all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and by him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.” c. MP1-c) Jesus was glorified to a position of honor/importance over all creation! i. But it was not just honor & glory that Jesus received here, He also received… 3. MP1-d) Authority: (Empowered) If you seated someone to your right, you may also be entrusted with power to rule and speak on behalf of that individual within their area of influence a. This was undoubtedly an element of Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of God! i. And what is the area of influence that God placed Jesus over? All creation! ii. Just as Jesus’ honor was over all creation, so also His authority is over all creation! iii. Matthew records Jesus’ reference to this (Mt. 28:18) in Jesus’ final recorded words of this book that we looked at just last week. b. This was a truth prophesied i. in Daniel 7:14, “He was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” ii. And in Psalm 110:1 & then reaffirmed in Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42–43; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 1:13, 10:11-14, Jesus has been positioned in authority over every enemy—they will be completely subjected to Him, as though they have become His footstool! c. Or as Paul shares i. In Philippians 2:10, “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” ii. Or as we read in Ephesians 1:22, that God “subjected everything under his feet” d. MP1-e) Jesus was empowered with authority over all creation! Transition: 1. This is that status, or position, that Jesus received upon His ascension a. And He is actually quite active in "working out” position! 2. So, let’s consider also… Main Point 2-a) The Service of the Ascended Jesus: Verse: In Acts 1:1-2a, Luke shares, “I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up” 1. Do you realize the implication of this verse? a. The Gospels only share what Jesus began to do… b. Now, in His ascended state, He is actively doing things! 2. So, what does Jesus do as a consequence to being glorified & empowered over all? a. There are several answers to this question; He… Explain: MP2-b) Exercises lordship over all creation: 1. This seems an obvious consequence of being given this authority, but it is worth stating bluntly—Jesus is authorized to rule & He actually does rule (Psalm 2)! a. You saw Him exercise this in part during His time on earth— i. He exercises it all the more now in heaven! b. He exercises lordship over all elements of the physical world & the spiritual world! c. Within this, the Bible gives special attention to the ascended Jesus’ lordship over the church i. That is to say, the people of God, true born-again Christians ii. You can see this in the passage we read from Ephesians 1:22b-23a, where it shares that Jesus was appointed as the “head over everything for the church, which is his body” (also see Ephesians 4:15, Colossians 1:18) MP2-c) Exercises lordship over the church: The author of Hebrews understood the position & work of Jesus, thus He exhorted us to keep “our eyes on Jesus, the source [author] and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, CSB), which highlights two key elements of Jesus’ position over the church; Jesus is the… MP2-d) Source of our faith: This is due to His pre-ascended; the entire focus of the Easter season 1. Hebrews 10:12-14 shares, “But this man [meaning Jesus], after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. He is now waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” 2. There is a completed work of Christ prior to His ascension that served as the source of our faith a. Something else highlighted by Jesus sitting at the right hand of God is that He has completed His high priest sacrifice-offering work 3. However, this is merely the “Source” of our faith— a. While ascended, Jesus also is the... MP2-e) Perfector of our faith: A position that holds many responsibilities… MP2-f) Jesus saves of the lost: 1. MP2-g) Part of Jesus’ lordship over the church is found in this: Jesus adds to His church a. This He does in cooperation with the Father & the Spirit (Jeremiah 31:3; John 6:44, 6:65, 12:32, 16:8-11; Heb 7:25) 2. He drew Saul to Himself on the Damascus Road, mobilizing Ananias to share the Gospel with him (Acts 9:1ff, 22:6ff, 26:12ff) 3. He opened the heart of Lydia to respond to the things spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14) 4. For indeed, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15), a. He did it prior to His ascension & He has been active in it since then! 5. But similar to our conversation last week concerning our roles as disciplers— a. Jesus understands that simply ‘making converts’ isn’t the end game… MP2-h) Jesus cares for His church: 1. MP2-i) He Shepherds: Borrowing from the imagery that is throughout the Old Testament (Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:11; Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:11–16) that references the caretaker of sheep as an example of one that guards, leads, & provides for those entrusted to him. a. Jesus shares that He is the Good Shepherd that lays down His life for the sheep and brings other sheep into the fold (John 10:11-18; Hebrews 13:20) b. Peter shares that Jesus still serves as a the Chief Shepherd over His church (1 Peter 2:25, 5:4), having also delegated shepherding care of the church to the elders (or pastors) c. So what does He does as our shepherd? i. Jesus both gathers us & keeps us close; ii. He binds up the broken & strengthens the sick, iii. He gently cares for us, feeding us and giving us much-needed rest d. Behold! The Ascended Son of Man! 2. MP2-j) He Oversees: When discussing Jesus as our shepherd, Peter also shares that He is the "Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25), (Gk. ἐπίσκοπος, episkopos) a. Sometimes translated as “bishop,” this word actually describes the role of one that watches, protects, & cares for those entrusted to him—an idea that is very closely related to the role of a shepherd b. Jesus guards & protects the church! i. He watches over us & cares for us! ii. Not merely from physical harm, but also spiritual harm! 1. Remember the letters from Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation? 2. Here He exercised His role as an overseer & shepherd c. Now, let’s look at a third way that Jesus exercises His lordship over the church: 3. MP2-k) He Intercedes: Hebrews 9:24 shares that Christ entered “into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us,“ which earlier on he shared that this includes His roles as our Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:27, 8:34) a. An intercessor is one that makes an earnest appeal to someone [God] on behalf of someone else [us!] (like a good lawyer) b. Jesus speaks to the Father on your behalf (Luke 22:32; John 17:9-26); i. He defends you against the attacks of Satan (John 17:15; Romans 8:33) , ii. He works toward your ultimate good (Romans 8:28-30) c. Similar to this, Jesus serves as your Advocate (1 John 2:1-2), i. MP2-l) One who comes along side you to provide help ii. A ministry He shares with the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26-27, 16:7-11; Romans 8:26) Transition: 1. Indeed, Jesus fulfills His promises—He does not leave us as orphans! (John 14:18) a. He asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit b. And Jesus maintains an active role in leading His people, the church. 2. So, let’s begin to wrap this up… Conclusion Conclusion-1) Reiterate: 1. The ascended Jesus is glorified & empowered over all a. At the right hand of God He has been given the position (status) of ultimate honor & authority 2. Where He serves as head of His church. a. An element of His total lordship over all creation that is especially dear to His heart i. Through His atoning death on the cross, He is the Source of our faith ii. Through His present ascended state, He is the Perfector of our faith 1. Saving the lost & caring for His church as their shepherd, overseer, intercessor, & advocate 3. So, how should we respond? Apply: 1. Con-2) Focus your life on Jesus a. As Colossians 3:1-2 shares, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” b. And as Hebrews 12:1-3 exhorts us to keep "...our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith...” c. Con-3) Make the regular quiet time needed to pray confidently & intently: i. Trusting Him as your Intercessor & Advocate 1. Learn to release things to Him as He calls you to lay them down! 2. Learn to receiving things from Him as He calls you to pick them up! 3. From physical, to spiritual, social, or mental/emotional— a. Realize that He is Lord of All b. And you can bring all such prayers to Him. d. Also make the regular time needed to seek Him through His Word! i. It is within this that you will get to know Him as He truly is! 2. Con-4) Follow Jesus a. Of course start this by remembering His finished work on the cross (Hebrews 10:10-18) i. There is a reason He sits… ii. Receive the free gift of salvation that He offers! And then… b. Con-5) Recognize His lordship over all; esp the church (Ephesians 1:18-23) i. Do you try to fully follow Him as your Lord? ii. Humble yourself before Him, learn faithful obedience! c. Con-6) Receive what He delegates to you! i. Realize that as a good leader, He likes to delegate to His followers! ii. Interceded for others as He intercedes for you (e.g. Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah were all known for being intercessors! (1 Timothy 2:1-3) iii. Follow His lead to become a pastor (under-shepherd/overseer) if He so leads! 3. Con-7) Worship Him with great joy & praise! a. This actually comes out of one of our opening verses… i. Luke 24:50-53 shares that after Jesus ascended, His disciples worshiped Him & then “returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple praising God.” b. This is the natural consequence of truly beginning to know Jesus personally i. To understand His loving care & His incredible power & position (Colossians 1:15-20) ii. And to realize that this one has ascended to the Name that is above every name! Appeal: 1. Focus your life on Him & allow Him to transform it 2. Allow Him to fill you with overflowing praise as found in such what is found in Revelation 5:13, a. “I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (CSB) Conclude: 1. Pray with me...