The Trinity on the Great Days of Redemptive History

Creation:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Gen. 1:1-2)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

Incarnation:

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy–the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)

Crucifixion:

 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Heb 9:14)

 Resurrection:

 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. (1Cor. 6:14)

 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Rom 8:11)

 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom 1:4)

 Pentecost:

 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (Acts 2:32-33)

Consummation:

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Rev. 22:16-19)

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The Ascension of Jesus: What difference does it make?

One aspect that is sorely missing from gospel preaching is the presentation of Jesus Christ’s ascension to God’s right hand. The ascension of Jesus is central to Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:33-36). The ascension is given place in Paul’s summary of Christological truth (1 Tim. 3:16). The ascension is among the core tenets of the faith in the Apostle’s Creed. Yet how many sermons are ever devoted to this subject apart from, perhaps, the annual mention on the day of Pentecost? What difference does it make that Christ has been exalted to God’s right hand?

Because Jesus has been exalted to God’s right hand:

  •  He received the Holy Spirit from the Father to pour out upon the church (Acts 2:33). No ascension, no church.
  • He gives repentance and forgiveness (Acts 5:31). No ascension, no salvation.
  • He intercedes for his followers (Rom. 8:34). No ascension, no advocate with the Father.
  • He is exalted over all authority (Eph. 1:19-23). Jesus is not one among many, he is Lord.
  • He is able to renew our minds (Col. 3:1-5). Jesus’ exaltation lifts our minds and affections from worldly pursuits.
  • He has finished the work of redemption (Heb. 1:3; 10:12-14). There is nothing left for Jesus to do to secure the salvation of his people.
  • He is shown to be superior to angels (Heb. 1:3-4, 13).
  • He is the mediator of a better covenant (Heb. 8:1-6). Were Jesus not exalted to God’s right hand his blood would be no mightier to save than that of the countless bulls and goats of the Old Testament.
  • He has become the example for all his followers that glory is certain to follow suffering (Heb. 12:1-3). Jesus’ exaltation to God’s right hand is the guarantee that we will also one day share in God’s glory.
  • He alone is able to accomplish God’s eternal purpose for creation (Rev. 5). No one else can consummate God’s plan for the ages.

Jesus has ascended from the earth and is exalted at God’s right hand. It’s a pretty big deal.