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But, From Now On...

Luke 22 (CSB)

67 They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I do tell you, you will not believe. 68 And if I ask you, you will not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

Mark 16 (CSB)

19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

These two bookends of the crucifixion and resurrection captivated me as I read through the Gospel accounts in the week leading up to Easter. Jesus made this masterstroke statement declaring his superior and ultimate authority over those who sat in judgement over him. It gave them what they needed to sentence him to death (they perceived it to be blasphemy), but it also established a truth that has eternal ramifications.

Jesus is seated at the right hand of God because his work on the cross is finished. The debt paid in full. The seat at the right hand is a place of favour. And it is also the place of the "right hand man" - the one who has authority. So, seated at the right hand of God, Jesus has rest, favour, and authority. Rest. Favour. Authority.

Here's how it applies to you and I:

Ephesians 2 (CSB)

​1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift ​— ​ 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

Often we talk about what God has done for us - giving his Son to die for our sins. While true, we need to pay more attention perhaps to what God has done with us.

He has made us alive with Christ. He has raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.

So, Christ is seated at the right hand of God, and those who have come to salvation are raised up and seated with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus. This means, really, that your spirit is in Christ, seated where he is seated. By implication, you have rest, favour and authority.

Often it doesn't feel like that, perhaps because we miss the difference between soul and spirit. The soul: body, mind, will and emotions. The spirit: the part that was dead, but comes to life by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. The soul is where the battle takes place. In the passage above, Paul writes about the fleshly desires, the ruler of the power of the air, and ways of this world. Here we see three areas that are opposed to the will of God. Our fleshly nature, the ruler of this world, and the world system. So, we have this tension between a spirit that is fully alive, seated in the spiritual realm (heavens), and a soul that is a work in progress in the physical realm.

There are many passages that talk about this progress, and this is where our hope lies.

  • Phil 1:6 "....will bring it to completion..."

  • 2 Cor 3:18 "....we are be transformed..."

  • Phil 3:12 "....have not attained but press on..."

  • Rom 12:2 " transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

  • Gal 5:1 "....don't submit again to the yoke of the evil one..."

A big part of our faith journey is yielding to the will of God in our souls. By the power of the Spirit, and understanding that our spirit fights from victory (rest, favour, authority) and not for victory. It is imperative to realize the authority that our spirit has in Christ Jesus! And with that realization should come a recognition of responsibility.

I'm seated in the heavenlies and I'm stewarding here

Sometimes, we don't realize how willing God is to share his power and majesty with us. We don't recognize the privilege that we have to be the stewards of the earth. We are waiting on God to do something, he is waiting on us to step into the authority he has already given to us.

Imagine how different things might be if, from now on, we truly stepped into the rest, favour and authority that we already have?

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