The Ascension

“The LORD says to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.’
2The LORD sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
4The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.’
5The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.”
—Ps. 110 (cf. Acts 2:33-36)

As we saw in the previous post on the resurrection, Peter looked at Psalm 16 and showed how Jesus’ resurrection was foretold. In Acts 2 Peter goes on to show that Jesus is now at God’s right hand, as Psalm 110 foretold. Jesus Himself had quoted from Psalm 110 and stomped His critics (see e.g. Matt. 22:41-46). And when you look at 110:1 it’s not surprising that they were stomped.

So, we see that Jesus is at God’s right hand until… Until He makes His enemies His footstool. That means that Jesus is coming back—and the New Testament repeatedly says soon—to bring judgment, and pervasive peace through that judgment.[1]

Jesus’ death and resurrection shows that He is indeed the Lord and Messiah.[2] As the Lord and Messiah, He is coming back soon to vanquish every foe and establish His forever reign of peace. In His second coming, He will bring the Kingdom that was expected at His first coming. 

The Lord’s violence to violence alone will end violence. All over the New Testament we see that every knee will bow to Jesus (cf. e.g. Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 17:14; 19:16). And that’s a good thing. We need the Lord to, in the words of Isaiah, sweep the world with the broom of destruction (Is. 14:23). O’ maranatha!

Reflections

  • We must be ready because the Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to   repay each one for what he has done” (Rev. 22:12). And that day, the day of the Lord, will come like a thief in the night, we won’t expect it. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for His return and His eternal Kingdom of peace, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace (2 Pet. 3:14). 

Prayer

Father, we thank You for Jesus. We thank You that even now He, as our Great High Priest, is at Your right hand and He is interceding for us. We thank You that we have the solid hope of Christ’s return and all that His return will mean. We thank You that Jesus Christ—the One who laid down His life for us—is our King. Help us to live faithfully as we await His return. It is in His name that we pray. Amen. 

_____

[1] Jesus will bring essentially what the Pharisees and scribes expected the Messiah to bring, and way beyond what they could begin to imagine.

[2] Jesus was, of course, both Lord and Messiah even before His death and resurrection—even before His incarnation. Jesus has always been the same ontologically—He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Functionally in time, however, there was a point in time before He had made “many to be accounted righteous” (Is. 53:11). There was a time before the mystery had been revealed (cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-11) that He is the Lord to which every knee will bow. Here’s an illustration, and only an illustration: My brother-in-law and good friend is an actuary. As an actuary there are a series of tests that you have to take over the course of a couple of years before you are an actual actuary. My brother-in-law has the makeup of an actuary, he’s good with numbers and likes math. So, “ontologically,” or in his being, he is an actuary. But he was not an official actuary until he was formally recognized as such after his final test. It is similar with Jesus. Jesus in His being has always been Lord and Christ, that is who He is ontologically. He, however, was not recognized as such until after His resurrection. Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection (see Rom. 1:1-4) but He had always been God ontologically (see e.g. Col. 1:15-20).

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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