He is ascended!

Though often minimized, the doctrine of Jesus' bodily ascension is of great importance. It proclaims that the ascended Jesus remains fully God and fully human (now glorified human). When Jesus ascended, he did not shed his humanity, but ascended bodily into heaven (where he remains until he returns bodily at the end of the age). 

In his ongoing humanity, Jesus continues to be our representative and substitute (the One for the many; the many in the One). Thus Paul can declare that when Jesus ascended, all humanity ascended with and in him: "It is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus..." (Eph. 2:5b-6). 

You may be asking, Where does Scripture say that Jesus remains human? Note the following verses:
    • "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1Tim. 2:5, emphasis added).
    • "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead" (Acts 17:31, emphasis added).
    You may also be asking, What difference does it make that Jesus remains forever human?  The answer is multifaceted and I urge reading "Jesus Ascended" by Gerrit Dawson, for a complete and inspiring answer.  But let me mention now that Jesus' ascension speaks to Jesus' role as our mediator.  His mediation (uniting God and humanity) occurs through the continuing (permanent) union of God and humankind in his own person. Thus, Jesus' mediation is not merely what Jesus DOES; it is what Jesus IS. 

    In Jesus the God-man, we have a "merciful and faithful high priest" (Heb. 2:17) who forever shares our humanity (v. 14). Jesus not only MAKES the covenant between God and humanity, he IS the covenant (see Heb. 9:15ff).  And because this is so, we may approach God through and in Jesus with confidence (10:35), "running" our "race" in union with Jesus, sharing in his hope-filled perseverance (12:1).

      Comments

      1. Is Jesus still human?
        You may also want to point out (very clear here)

        Luke 24:39 "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

        And also point out that a physical body is no longer in the grave. He still has his body, but it has been "glorified". And we too will be glorified and still be "us".

        ReplyDelete
      2. Hi Boyd,

        Thanks for pointing out this scriptural evidence that Jesus remained human after his resurrection from the dead.

        Some say he then "shed" his humanity when, 40 days later, he ascended. But Scripture insists that the human Jesus died, was resurrected (still human) and then ascended (remaining human forever).

        Thanks for your input!

        ReplyDelete

      Post a Comment

      Popular posts from this blog

      Can people get out of hell?

      Does everyone have the Holy Spirit?

      Theology and Biblical Studies - What's the Difference?

      The missional character of the church

      The nature of our union with Christ

      How big is hell?

      Ministry: sharing in what Jesus is doing

      Question on John 3:36

      Torrance on the church and its mission

      The link between theology and mission