Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jesus Ascended

I thought I would share a few quotes from Gerrit Dawson's book, Jesus Ascended, in which he thoughtfully lays out the significance and implications of Christ's ascension into heaven as an embodied Man...flesh and blood intact.  

His bodily ascension means that the Man, Jesus Christ, "retains an affinity with our frailty, even now," because He is forever united to our humanity.

The Godhead is not stripped of humanity, but adorned with it.  The incarnation was not a lightning strike that is brilliant one moment but gone the next.  No - though he is in heaven, he remains one of us, wearing the clothes of flesh he acquired on earth, even unto eternity.  (p43)

Head & Firstfruits: the way into the Father's presence has been opened because where the Head goes, the Body follows. 

In the ascension, Christ Jesus opens heaven.  As he passes through the gates, the way is made for human beings, in him, also to pass into that communion heretofore blocked by sin and moral frailty. (p65)

Ascending in the glorified skin and bones of our nature, Jesus guarantees in his very person what we will become...  Not only does Christ send the Spirit as a pledge in our hearts, he bears in himself the guarantee of what we will become in union with Christ.  (p88)

...our firstfruits ascended up to heaven, and taking up the flesh from us took possession of his Father's throne in order that He might work reconciliation for His servants, destroy the old enmity, and bestow freely upon the men of earth the peace of the powers above. (p112, Chrysostom)

Priesthood & Intercession:

The Son of God passed through the earth to gather his lost and mortally wounded children.  Through the sewers of human sin he strode, picking us up, we who were bound for the grave.  He carried us upstream on his back, through the filthy waters of our defiance and corruption.  Jesus brought us through death and into the place of healing and communion.  He passed through the veil and into the Father's presence, in our name and on our behalf.  The ascension brings our humanity out of the sewers of sin and into the Father's house, the place of union and communion.  This is the essence of priesthood. (p119)

We require a constant advocacy, a dynamic ministry of the mediator to hold us continually in union with him.  The sin offering on the cross was indeed once and for all.  But his life of intercession on our behalf consists of the self-offering he has made continuously from all eternity and now makes not only as the Son of God, but also as the Son of Man, eternally incarnate in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Our sanctification depends on the dynamic, continual intercessions of the Son at the right hand of the Father... (p132)

As we pray in faith, Christ takes our prayers, cleanses them, makes them his prayers to the Father, presenting us in himself to the Father, and makes his prayers our prayers...  (p140)

Dual Citizenship:

We strive to set our minds on heaven at the same time as we plunge into the world with the message of grace.  We sojourn as aliens among people not our own, yet for whom we lay down our lives in hope that they will become our own brothers and sisters.  We strive to maintain our core identity as citizens of heaven even as we interact with the City of Babylon that sets itself up as independent of God.  (p145)

As citizens of the City of God, we may participate in the life of the world, striving with it, thankful for it, bruised by it, hoping for it, knowing this is not our truest home.  We do not possess anything and so we possess everything.  For we belong to Christ and all things are his.  (p159)


Chris said...

That's the exact picture I chose for our bulletin cover for this week. Though, sadly it won't be in color...too expensive!

Lori Shaffer said...

I will use a different one for the next 3 days' posts. I usually have to look them up before I catch all the symbolism.

Thanks for stopping by!