December 20: Jesus is the Ascended Lord

Psalm 68:18

God’s chariots are tens of thousands,
thousands and thousands;
the Lord is among them in the sanctuary
as he was at Sinai.
You ascended to the heights, taking away captives;
you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious,
so that the Lord God might dwell there.

While it is hard to pick the greatest, this promise about the Messiah has to be one of the best. First, we see the promise of His ascension, but better than that, He doesn’t go alone. The Heavenward rise of the Messiah will also belong to a host who had previously been in bondage. Even better than that, this ascension will mark the beginning of an eternal cohabitation of God and man!

As Paul notes in Ephesians 4:7-10, Jesus fulfilled this verse in His death as He descended into the grave and rose in victory at His Resurrection. In so doing, He freed His people from death’s grip and led them to glory. Now they dwell with God and God with them. But Paul’s discussion on this verse leads him right into a discussion about the role of church leaders and church unity. The implication is that one of the ways that Jesus leads the “host of captives” to the dwelling place of God is through His Church.

So as you worship Jesus this weekend at your church, pause and look around to see the glory of God in the people you have been united to. The worship service of the church is a preview of Heaven. There are some captives who have already made it, but we do get small glimpses each week when we gather.

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