The Eternal Purpose of Christ’s Ascension

  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. —Matt. 28:18–20, KJV

Having finished His work as the humble servant, all the promises of the past ages were fulfilled. God the Father showed His approval in His Son’s resurrection, thereby setting the stage for Him in His human body to ascend to the right hand of power as head of His body the church. “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:18–20). Oh, the grace of God in Jesus Christ for His elect people!

The gates of heaven were opened for the conquering King. The eternal, begotten Son of God holds sway over all things and people. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory” (Ps. 24:7–10). He is on the throne today.

But eternal wonder: this throne is still the throne of grace today. “But [he] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:7–11). This is love personified. Jesus Christ the King will never rest until all those the Father has given Him are safely with Him forever. “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph. 3:16–17).

To the Lord, such might revealing, let us come with rev’rence meet,

And, before our Maker kneeling, let us worship at His feet.

He is our own God and leads us, we the people of His care;

With a shepherd’s hand He feeds us as His flock in pastures fair.

Psalter 255:3 (Psalm 95)

Mr. Cornelius Van Kempen known as Case, has been married to Susan for fifty-nine blessed years. They attend and are members of Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, MI.