Risen... and Exalted
For reading & meditation: Acts 1:1-11
"... he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." (v. 9)
Before we conclude our meditations on the uniqueness of Christianity, we must mention our Lord's ascension. I much prefer the word exaltation to ascension to describe Christ's return to the throne of God, for that is what it really was - an exaltation. Paul, in some verses in the passage we looked at yesterday (Eph. 1:20-21
), points out that following His resurrection our Lord was elevated above all possible rivals: "far [note the word far] above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Jesus has been exalted to the highest place, and it is this "supremacy" which His Father wants Him to enjoy forever. This thrilling truth puts into proper perspective the use of the word superiority which is a word commonly used by Christians when comparing the faith to others. We must be careful how we use the word. Adopting an air of superiority toward people of other faiths displays nothing more than discourtesy and arrogance. John Stott comments: "It is not 'Christianity' as an empirical institution or system for which Christians should claim superiority. It is Christ, and only Christ. We should not be afraid to affirm without embarrassment that Christ is superior to all other religious leaders, precisely because He alone humbled Himself in love even to the cross and therefore God has raised Him 'above' every other person, rank, or title." If God has given this supreme position to Jesus and so honored Him, then we should give Him the same honor also.
Lord Jesus, I honor You. Oh how I honor You. May Your Church this day and every day give unto You the honor which You so rightly and richly deserve. Blessed be Your wondrous Name forever. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was Jesus doing when He ascended?
2. What did Jesus do after He ascended?