The Exhalted Saviour
“Thou hast ascended on high”
We rejoice in a risen and exalted Saviour. It was ordained that He should suffer and then “enter into his glory” (Luke 24:26). His ascension to the throne of glory is cause for great joy and gladness among all the redeemed in heaven and on earth.
If the bonds of death and the confines of the tomb had held Him, He could never have gone back to heaven. His ‘going up’ reveals He had fulfilled the law, satisfied God’s justice and brought in everlasting righteousness. Exaltation to glory was a declaration to the world that “the Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake” (Isaiah 42:21).
If He had not magnified the law and made it honourable, we could not be begotten unto the lively hope of “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for [us]” (1 Peter 1:4). The gates of glory, before closed to us, were opened to receive One in our nature who “entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). There, as our advocate, He appears in our cause and transacts our affairs. Never doubt His success. His interest is so great in the court of Heaven that no cause in His hands has ever been lost, for the Father hears Him always (John 11:41,42).
His eyes are upon every sheep and lamb of His pasture. He tells all their wandering and puts all their tears into His bottle. Every sigh or groan from their hearts goes to His heart. As the great Shepherd, He continues looking after His flock on their journey here below.
When He ascended up on high He received gifts for men (Psalm 68:18). What He received for us He gives to us according to our needs. Fear not then to go where He sends and to do what He commands. He is at the right hand of the Majesty on high as our exalted King and glorious Representative.
He takes possession of the inheritance of eternal life, until His fellow-heirs follow Him and be eternally with Him. Our souls follow Him there at death and our bodies at the resurrection. Here is comfort for the child of God. He has said, “where I am, there shall also my servant be” (John 12:26). Our present, tottering house of clay will soon crumble and we will enter the house “not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Death has been disarmed of its sting. He who has the keys of hell and of death took the armour of this king of terrors with Him, as one of the spoils of battle, when He went up to His throne. Christ has not gone up to Heaven in any private capacity. He went up in the name of all His people as the forerunner to open their way to glory, having accomplished their full redemption. So then, “be glad in the LORD and rejoice ye righteous and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart” (Psalm 32:11).
Rev Leslie Curran.