Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | May 28, 2006

Christ’s Ascension – Part 2

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.  His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”  Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child.  Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel.  And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.  And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth.”  Micah 5:2-4.
Throughout the history of redemption God’s plan unfolds progressively through His servants the prophets.  In the passage above, the prophet Micah provides a glimpse of the coming Messiah. In this glimpse we are told that the Messiah would be a shepherd-king and this Lord’s Day we consider the aspects of the ascension that are related to this concept.  We are currently in the period of redemption known as Christ’s session, which is the part of His exaltation between the ascension and the second coming.  During His session Christ is not only reigning, but He continually intercedes for His people as the true shepherd of the Church.
Today in our review of the Apostles Creed we come to the portion of the Heidelberg Catechism, which describes the benefits of the Christ’s ascension.  Question 49 of the Catechism states as follows:

Q. How does Christ's ascension to heaven benefit us?

A. First, he pleads our cause in heaven in the presence of his Father. 1 Second, we have our own flesh in heaven — a guarantee that Christ our head will take us, his members,     to himself in heaven. 2 Third, he sends his Spirit to us on earth as a further guarantee. 3 By the Spirit's power we make the goal of our lives, not earthly things, but the things above where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand. 4

1 Romans 8:34: …who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.  1 John 2:1:  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 John 14:2:  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  John 17:24: Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which you have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.  Ephesians 2:4-6:  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…
3 John 14:16:  Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22:  Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.  1 Corinthians 5:5:  I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
4 Colossians 3:1-4:  Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the thinks above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set you mind on the things above, not on the things that on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

It is comforting to know that our Savior saves us completely and does not abandon us on our own.  He is actively engaged in our salvation from beginning to end by praying for us, preparing heaven for us and sending His Spirit to assist us in the faith.  He is the Good Shepherd who is able to protect His flock in such a way that known will be snatched away.  

In our next entry we will continue to examine the ascension of our Lord and where His current dominion extends.  Until then, enjoy the rest of your Lord’s Day and have a blessed Memorial Day tomorrow. 

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