He Ascended into Heaven and is Seated at the Right Hand of the Father (Apostles Creed)

Čitanje: He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Apostles Creed)

Reflections: Jesus the Christ, Jesus the God-Man, spent almost his entire public ministry talking about a whole new reality; that God was ruling and that people could live in that reality now. The “Kingdom of God”, the range of God’s effective will, as Dallas Willard put it, and its availability in the here and now, was the key message that Jesus called The Good News.

Jesus spoke in the flow of the Prophets of old. They had heard from God and had preached messages of repentance and called Israel to turn and live into the mission of God as he made the World right. The prophets looked forward to a time when God would set the World to rights, when he would renew His Creation. They called the people of Israel to carry out acts of justice (Mishpat) and, in so doing, participate with God in bringing about a state of righteousness (Tsedaqah). Of course, any reading of the Hebrew scriptures will show that Israel did not really succeed in its mission, to realise the mission of God. Israel was called to be a blessing to the Nations (Gen 12:1-3) and, on the face of it, failed quite spectacularly but, in one crucial way it did, of course, succeed. Israel became, under the heat and pressure of its special relationship with Yahweh, the womb of Christ. God, acting in and through the nation of Israel, brought forth a man; the God-Man, who did live a faithful life of Mishpat and Tsedaqah and was a living, breathing Prototype of a New Creation person, the first real human; the Humanising Human (T. F. Torrance).

In the awful events of Good Friday there was nothing hidden, just the stark exposure of the Principalities and Powers’ opposition to the mission of God. Echoing, and reflecting back an inversion of Edwards’ fearsome sermon, we might say; “God in the Hands of Angry Sinners”. But, following the Earth shattering and Creation restoring resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, a mere engineer like me comes to the limits of his language! The man – Jesus, in whom the Divine and the Human were perfectly inter-penetrated, entered the “space” where the Kingdom of God is fully operating. A space that we call Heaven, but is no distant, abstract notion, but a reality, just out of clear sight but close enough to touch.

Our Lord, King, Brother and Friend – the real Human is, now, in the presence of His Father and ours, as the first of many. He takes us with Him, in the present tense, to the Father, for, in assuming our human nature and entering His Father’s presence, we are all caught up and implicated in it (Eph 2:6). Jesus’ entering of Heaven has put the relationship between God and mankind on a whole new basis – the basis of His faithful sonship.

It is true that what is still in the future is the full unveiling of the reality of the Kingdom of God, but the reality itself is fully present here and now. That Kingdom, the Kingdom of the Heavens, is ruled by King Jesus who has reconciled us to God (2 Cor 5:18-19) and included us in the life that He has always shared with His Father, in the presence of the Holy Spirit. He invites us now, and continually, to live from that reality, from that centre. When we sing; “Jesus Be the Centre,” we sing to our souls, to form ourselves in the truth that He really is our Centre.

Preyer: Father God, who sent your Son into the World to be our peace, so fill us with your Spirit that we may know your abiding Shalom amid the storms of our lives. Give us eyes to see glimpses of your glory and ears to hear your whisper to our souls, that we might live from a center, not in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted in Daily devotionals.