by Dr. Maynard Koerner
49. What benefit do we receive from Christ’s ascension into heaven?
First, that He is our Advocate in the presence of His Father in heaven, Second, that we have our flesh in heaven as a sure pledge, that He as the Head, will also take us, His members, up to Himself. Third, that He sends us His Spirit as an earnest, by whose power we seek those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God, and not things on the earth.
50. Why is it added: “And sits at the right hand of God”?
Because Christ ascended into heaven for this end, that He might there appear as the Head of His Church, by whom the Father govern all things.
The ascension of Christ is a very important event in the work of salvation. It is a shame that many believers do not even know what the ascension is. All too often the thought is that with the completion of His work on earth Jesus is done with His work as our Mediator. The fact is that Christ continues to work as our Mediator in several ways.
Christ is literally our defense lawyer who speaks for us before God’s throne of grace. When you sin, as you do every day, Jesus defends you before the heavenly judge in that He has already paid for that sin. Further, the fact that Jesus is in heaven as the Messiah means that human nature is in heaven. This gives us assurance about the fact that we will bodily be in heaven some day. Finally, Christ said that it was necessary for Him to go to the Father so that the Holy Spirit could be sent to the Church.
What a comfort to know that Christ continues to serve the Church in this way. We can be assured that He takes care of all of our needs every day. By His Spirit we come to faith, a faith which trusts in the resurrection and a faith by which we remain strong in the Lord.
We can be absolutely certain that Jesus carries out these tasks because He is the King. By the fact that Christ is seated on the right hand of God, we know all authority has been given to Him (Matt. 28:18). Therefore, since Christ is its Head, the Church can command sinners to repent and follow Christ. It further means that, as Christians who serve Christ, we can and must point out what is sin and seek to establish the truth of God in the world.
We do not look for Jesus to rule someday: He has already been crowned King. He rules now, so the Church is not impotent as it often appears and conducts itself, but the Church is the means by which the gates of the kingdom of Satan can and should be run over.
What awesome an King we have!