Pastor’s May Message
Jesus in Heaven—Ascended
Jesus prays. He prays for you.
This month gives us Ascension Day, May 25. Jesus has finished his course of redeeming us and crushing death. Now that he is ascended, what is our Lord Jesus doing?
The business Jesus is about at the heavenly Throne pertains to our daily lives, even to each breath. Not only were all things created through Jesus, but he is upholding all things, even now. Colossians 1:16-17:
For by him all things were created, in the heavens and upon Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
God the Son, Jesus, holds together all things in creation. We can sometimes think of this world as an impersonal mechanism that just keeps grinding along according a set of natural laws, day in and day out. In this way, creation can come across as only impersonal and mechanical. We observe how things work and from our observations we approximate the laws or principles that seem to be holding all things together.
There is some truth to thinking of creation that way. But the Ascension of God the Son to the Throne in Heaven does give us a more complete and personal picture. Be-hind all creation, behind every living thing, behind every breath out of our lungs, is not a set of impersonal, just mechanical laws, but a person, God the Son, Jesus. He sits upon the Throne. In him all things are upheld: For by him, all things were created, in the heavens and upon Earth, visible and invisible … and in him all things hold together.
The sun in the sky, it keeps its appointed place, upheld by him through whom all things were created and in whom all things hold together. He upholds all things of creation, seen and unseen. The next breath out of your lungs will be according to how he appoints it. Your heart’s next beat, coursing blood through your veins, it’s all according to what he appoints for your body, which he sanctified for eternity in Baptism. As he sits upon the Throne in Heaven, by his word of power he is upholding all creation. And he is praying for us and our children.
He upholds all things, from the great waters of the oceans to the hairs of our head. But chiefly, he upholds us, praying to his Father for us, for our families, for his beloved church. He loves the sinner. He died for no star, nor for any tree, nor for any endangered species, nor anything else our world holds as important; he died for us. And He prays for us—our Advocate at the face of the Father.
On Earth, As It Is in Heaven
Here on Earth Jesus has placed his Father’s Name on us and our children in Baptism; in Heaven he writes our names in the Book of life—Baptism.
Here on Earth he speaks forgiveness into our ears as we hear his voice of Holy Absolution; in Heaven his same voice intercedes to the Father that all sins be released in Heaven as they are on Earth.
In Heaven His Blood cries out for our vindication—we are reckoned clean by the Blood of the Lamb upon the Throne; here on Earth he gives that same Blood into our mouths, sanctifying our bodies for eternity, cleansing us of all sin.
He prays for us, our advocate to the Father. He is able to be our advocate, for he shares in our flesh and blood. And though he is without sin, he knows our every temptation and every sin, having taken it all upon himself. And he loves us, his voice petitioning the Father on our behalf.
The Father hears his prayer:
“[O Father,] I have manifested Your name to those whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them … I pray for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” [JOHN 17:7-10, OF THE GOSPEL FOR THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD]
In the Name of Jesus,
Rev. Warren W. Graff
October 30, 2018
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