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April 13, 2022 12:01 am
In His ascension, Jesus Christ was enthroned in glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Today, R.C. Sproul considers the dominion, power, and authority that belongs to the Redeemer seated at the Father's right hand.
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After he rose from the dead. Jesus gathered with his apostles. Then he was lifted up into the clouds haze going back to the realm of glory is going to receive that glory, that he enjoyed with the father from all eternity, which he set aside during his earthly incarnation and so that's the first thing that we have to understand about dissension is a glorious thing is no we celebrate Easter, we tend to focus on death and resurrection of Jesus may even lead us to think about Jesus second coming of the glories of heaven that await believers, but today I'm Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul explains why the ascension of Christ is so significant and how it can enhance our celebration of this holy week are going to continue now with our study of the work of Christ and today were going to focus on his departure from this world in the ascension. If there's any dimension of the wife in the work of Jesus that I think is woefully neglected in the life of the church today.
It is concerned for his ascension and yet in New Testament categories. This is the act may of Jesus work, inasmuch as after he finishes his task of the atonement and the resurrection. He returns to heaven. You will recall the very beginning of this series we talked about the incarnation as a team ascension and we read that no one ascends into heaven except he who has come down from heaven and so when the New Testament speaks of the ascension of Jesus.
It speaks of something far more weighty than his merely going up somewhere, but it's what he is going up to and that is so important in our understanding of Jesus work and before I look at that limit. Just read for you a brief description that we receive of the ascension of Jesus from the pen of Luke. He records the ascension, both at the end of his gospel, and also in the first chapter of the book of acts. First, let's look at the record in the Gospel of Luke we read, and he led them out as far as Bethany and he lifted up his hands and blessed them, and it came to pass that while he blessed them that he was parted from them and carried up into heaven, and they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy hammer continually in the temple, praising and blessing God seller just a couple of small details that are added in the version that Luke gives us at the beginning of the book of acts, and let's listen to those if you will now broken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven. This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in like manner as you saw him go on in to heaven now in the first account we read that Jesus departed from this planet and he was taken up and didn't say anything about how he was taken up in here in the action version. We're told that he was taken up basically in a cloud and that is because this would be the Shekinah cloud the glory cloud the means of transporting our Lord from birth up to heaven was by virtue of the Shekinah glory of God. Seller is a detail in the first reading that I went over rather quickly because I wanted to surprise you that I want to go back to it and look again in the book of Luke tells us that after Jesus was lifted up, that the disciples returned to Jerusalem with great joy and they were constantly praising God of the reason I want to look at that for a moment in its significance is when Jesus first told the disciples that he was departing there was no sense of joy whatsoever. Let's look at that first, second, we find it in John in chapter 16, beginning at verse 16 where Jesus tells his disciples a little while you will not see me and again a little while, and you will see because I go to the father and son of the disciples said among themselves, what is this that he says a little while you will not see me again a little while you will send me because I go to the father. What is this little while we don't know what he's saying. And Jesus knew what they were thinking and so he said are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said a little while you not see me again a little while you will see me most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy humming the worst thing that Jesus could tell his disciples at that point was that he was leaving that in one ever solely and I couldn't imagine how is leaving would be of any redemptive value whatsoever, but he explained to them that it was to their manage that he depart the first they didn't get that in many ways.
I don't think the church is gotten it yet. We still same as effort and a sense of nostalgia. We wish we could've been alive during the earthly sojourn of Jesus.
And yet, we should understand that his absence from this earth is better for us right now.
Then, his presence was during the first century, and I think somewhere between Jesus explanation to his disciples that it would be an advantage to them that he departed and his departure there whole demeanor about it changed radically from deep sorrow from fear and disappointment.
Now they return to Jerusalem with great joy. I really happy to see him go. Course not.
But they understood why he went and where he was going and that was the cause of course for their great joy not written on the board for same that occur because of the ascension of Jesus for things that fill up this idea of advantage of having him depart the first I simply call glory if we look at John chapter 17 in the high priestly prayer of Jesus gives were in the presence of his disciples in the upper room. He begins the prayer in this way, Jesus spoke these words lifted up his eyes to heaven, and he said father, the hour has come.
Glorify your son that your son also may glorify you as you have given him authority over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him, and this is the eternal, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth and I have finished the work which you have given to me now. Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory that I had with you before the world was created. He left the glory in the dissension in the incarnation, I'm not. Jesus prays in the upper room. Father let me have the glory back. Let me enjoy the glory I had with you from the foundation of the world. And so when Jesus parts this world on the Shekinah cloud he's going to the realm of glory is going to receive the glory that he enjoyed with the father from all eternity, which he set aside during his earthly incarnation.
So that's the first thing that we have to understand about the significance of the ascension. It's a glorious thing and those who love Jesus and his disciples who worshiped him and they went back to the temple to worship him after his departure, because they understood he was getting his quarry back the humiliation was over and the exultation was now increased. But there are other significant dimensions to that ascension.
The next one that I mentioned here is Pentecost in that same period of the upper room discourse of Jesus had with the disciples was recorded for us in John, Jesus explains to his disciples that he's going away in order that he may send them another Paraclete.
Often when we use the term Paraclete were thinking that were referring simply to the Holy Spirit.
No the Holy Spirit is not the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit is the other Paraclete, the original Paraclete is Christ himself. As we looked at as has been the consolation of Israel. The old English translations of it in the New Testament speak of the Holy Spirit as the comforter and we think that the purpose of the Holy Spirit is coming into the life of the church is to bring consolation to those who are in pain-and-suffering and delete to become sold what he does that, but that's not the primary meaning of the term comforter as it was used in the old English people English translation of the Paraclete was the English word comforter based on the original meaning of comfort, meaning with strength so was not soulless so much that is due as it is power and strength.
The Paraclete was the name given to the family attorney in the ancient world and if you had a difficult problem you are facing, you would summon the Paraclete part of flight sauce may use one who was called to stand alongside of you and Jesus tells his disciples you're going to be dragged into prisons and then you're going to be hated and despised. But when you're delivered up to these councils.
Don't be afraid because I will send the comforter the Paraclete to give you the strength to stand beside you that you may be faithful in times of crisis. Remember the he also instructed his disciples after he was going to leave them. He said you were to go to Jerusalem, and Terry there wait for a while because you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and again Jesus says to them.
I won't let you alone I will be with you even though I'm going away.
In one sense and another way I'm going to be with you to the ends of the earth. The last question.
The disciples asked Jesus before the ascension was Lord for you now restore the kingdom to Israel with the Jesus is much as that is not your business when I'm going to restore the kingdom of Israel but your responsibilities. This new show the my witnesses after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and so one of the most important reasons for Jesus ascension to the right hand was that Pentecost would take place that the father and the son would pour out the Holy Spirit upon the church and the purpose of that outpouring of the Holy Spirit was to empower the church for its earthly mission to empower the church for ministry again to witness for Christ in a corrupt world requires strength greater than our own, and we are called to bear witness to the kingdom of God, which is invisible.
John Calvin said most important task of the church is that the church is to be the visible witness of the invisible kingdom and that takes the Holy Spirit for us to accomplish that message and so Jesus left so he could send the spirit on Pentecost and empower the church for its mission throughout the ages.
The spirit was his spiritual presence with us after his departure from this world will there still two more major significances to Jesus departure in the ascension and the next one, perhaps, is is the most obvious that where he was going what he was going up to heaven was not simply to enter into his rest, but he was going to his coronation.
He was going to his investiture service. He was ascending to the throne he was being brought up to the right hand of God, where he was given dominion and power and authority over the whole so that the Lamb who was slain would be seeing now is the lie of Judah who would rain over the earth again.
The church is failed to understand many people still look at the kingdom of God is something in the on fulfilled future, but the kingdom has begun.
Why because the pain has been enthroned. The king has gone to his coronation and the father has given him his investiture service and handed over him all authority in heaven and earth. This is a cosmic event.
The coronation of Christ. We call it the session. We say the apostles create that he ascended into heaven and set up at the right hand of God the father of light that being seated is the session of Christ and where he sits is not in the choir, not in the pew.
He sits in the seat of authority at the right hand of the father, as it were, the celestial Prime Minister in the title but the New Testament gives them at this point is he's the king of kings and the Lord of lords. That means the highest sink of authority in the universe is occupied by Christ is no longer this peripatetic rabbi walking around Galilee and Judea.
He's enthroned, and no rule work in this world can rule first second part from his authority. He brings kingdoms up. He brings kingdoms down and our king who is the king of kings and the Lord of the Lords is accountable to know earthly ruler. So that's a tremendous situation for us such white better for us that Jesus would believe that if he would stay because he left to be seated at the right hand of the father finally, the fourth thing that takes place in the ascension is of Jesus as our high priest enters into the heavenly tabernacle into the holy of holies, where he functions there as our priest king. He's the king, and he is the priest and having these do well roles is very significant for us because we have a priest. We have a high priest, we have a great high priest who has lived among us who understands our feelings who understands our infirmities and he lives in the presence of God carrying on his chief priestly work of intercession. He's not making sacrifices for us up there. The sacrifice that was made on the cross is made once and for all and the sun doesn't have to remind the father in a daily mass in heaven. The telling of what he did and accomplished once and for all the atonement that is finished, but that's not all that was involved in his priestly ministry. The other priestly ministry goes on. And that is the ministry of intercession.
Let's look again at John 17 and let me begin at verse six were Jesus that I have manifested your name to the men whom you have given me out of the world they were you. You gave them to me and they have kept your word knowledge known all the things which you have given me are from you for have given to them the words which you have given me and they received them and they've known shortly that I come forth from you and I believe that you sent me the listener what he says. I pray for them.
I don't pray for the whole world, but I pray for those whom you have given me, for they are yours and all of mine are yours and yours or mine, and I am glorified in them and he asked to keep those whom he has given to Jesus, that they may persevere. We have a doctrine called the perseverance of the saints. I don't like that name or it because those saints do persevere, it's not because we have the power of perseverance within ourselves.
If it were left to me to persevere in my Christian walk I would fall and stumble and leave the kingdom tomorrow but the one who really perseveres as God, he perseveres with his children and he works to preserve them and one of the chief ways in which God preserved his his people is through the priestly intercession of Jesus may finish this by just reminding you of an episode that took place on the night before Jesus died when he was gathered with his disciples, he announced to them that one of them was going to betray speaking of Judas. They went around the room.
Signboards advised that I finally Jesus look at Judas and Sobol has said and what you have to do do quickly, and he dismissed Judas to carry out his treachery and we know that the end of Judas was catastrophic. But that same night, there was another disciple at the same table and Jesus said would deny publicly three times what to say to Pete face of Simon, Simon, Satan would have you insert your lightweights. So go ahead and do your thing now, but I pray for you so that when you turn strengthen the brothers was the difference between Judas and Peter Jesus didn't pray for Judas. He says I've lost none. You've given me, except the son of perdition, who was a son of perdition from the beginning, but Peter was one of the father had given to Jesus and his denial ghastly in the heinous crime data set, go do it but I've prayed for you so if you turn no not if future but when strengthen the brothers in that same Jesus is in heaven today interceding for you and for me, if indeed we belong to him.
So the ascension is a matter of glory describe Jesus.
It's kind of! Given to his earthly issues. His triumph over sin and death that also brings to light the sharp contrast between Adam's failure, and Jesus victory. That's Dr. RC Sproul from his series. What did Jesus do understanding the work of Christ. We like to send you this full series. There are 12 messages on two DVDs in the series and will send them to you for your donation of any amount to look at her ministries to give your gift just go to Renewing Your Mind.org or call us at 800-435-4343. Also, be sure to check your link in your learning library where you'll find the digital files of the series ready for viewing. Once your donation is complete to learn about significant events in Jesus life's experience in the temple as a boy, for example, is baptism by John in the Transfiguration. When we see how Jesus lived and how he responded in obedience to God the father. We see clearly why Jesus is called the second Adam, so again request. What did Jesus do when you call us at 800-435-4343 if you prefer, you can make your request and give your gift online and Renewing Your Mind.org. Dr. Sproles served as copastor at St. Andrews Chapel here in Sanford, Florida were my wife and I are privileged to be members. And every year we look forward to the Monday Thursday service remembering the washing of the feet and the Last Supper of Jesus with the apostles. I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we bring you one of those services, as these messages titled the midnight trial. That's Thursday here on Renewing Your Mind