Christ Glorified in Heaven
To the early visitors who, in the breaking light of that memorable Resurrection morn, stood in the empty tomb, seeking the body of their Lord, the heavenly sentinels, clad in shining garments, who guarded the sacred spot where their Lord had lain, said, “He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:6). And forty days after, that Risen One, who had met and talked and eaten with His disciples, calmly ascended from the slope of Olivet and was “received up into heaven” (Mark 16:19).
There, God glorified Him (Acts 3:13). And there He is at this very moment, a glorified Man in the heavens. There, His first martyr, Stephen, saw Him within the opened heavens, ready to receive His saint and servant to the rest and joy of the heavenly home, to which He Himself had come as the Forerunner and Welcomer of the “many sons” whose home-bringing to glory (Heb. 2:10) God has entrusted to His hand. Very wonderful and very blessed it is to consider these things, and to meditate on the words in which they are communicated to us.
“He is not here.” No, indeed. The earth was once the place of His pilgrimage, but never His home. He was the Stranger here. But He was not wanted in the world, for it “knew Him not.” So He is no longer here, but gone to His heavenly home, the place of His honour and glory. And it is just because “He is not here,” that there is nothing here to detain His saints, or to attract to and fix their thoughts on things below. Writ large in letters never to be erased, faith reads, “He is not here”—not in the world’s progress, its religion, or its prospects. And where Christ is not, where He is “disallowed,” there His people should not, and if true to Him, cannot be. “He is not here” cuts the cords that bound the Christian to earth and its enjoyments, for if there was no place for Christ amid its scenes, there can surely be nothing to attract His redeemed ones there.
“He is Risen.” Yes, blessed be God. Risen as Conqueror, Victor, Lord. Gone up on high as Representative, First-fruits, and Princely Leader of His own, to prepare a place worthy of them, and presently to come again and receive them to Himself, to share the glory He has already entered upon. It is the fact that “He is risen,” and that they too “have been raised together with Christ” (Col. 3:1), that gives them interest in “things that are above, where Christ is seated on the right hand of God.” So they set their affection on things above, where all their interests really are, and not on things “on the earth,” in which Christ no longer is, and from which they expect very soon to go, to be “glorified with Him” (Rom. 8:17) in that heavenly sphere.
Beloved in the Lord, it is the power of these great, these transcendent truths, welcomed by faith to the heart, and allowed to operate in the lives of saints, that make them heavenly and spiritual, that separates from the world, and sets the heart on things above. And nothing else will do it. “Christ crucified,” cuts all the cords below. “Christ glorified,” forms new links and eternal bonds above.
Article series: Our Glorious LordThe Triumph of the Cross Christ, Seated and Expectant