Christ, Seated and Expectant
In the Hebrews Epistle, the Lord Jesus is presented as seated in heaven and the expectant of a kingdom. He is seated, because His work of redemption is accomplished, and has been accepted. He is expectant, because the people of His purchase, the church for which He gave Himself a sacrifice, and the inheritance which He purchased by His ransom, have not yet come to Him in actual possession. The “sufferings” of which the prophets spake of old (2 Pet. 1:11) are past, but the “glories” that were to “follow” have not yet been manifested.
A seated Christ tells us that the work by which our salvation, our access to God and heaven are secured, is a completed work, that there is no more to be done for our acceptance with God, or to procure our entrance to, or secure our meetness for heaven (Col. 1:12). An expectant Christ, waiting for His people and for the actual entrance on that “purchased possession” to which He has right and title, tells us, that He has not yet come to that which is His own, but is in patience waiting for it, and for that hour when He and His saints shall be “glorified together,” and so enter on their joint-inheritance.
A right consideration of these two present attitudes of our Lord in heaven, as seated and expectant, with the message they bring to the soul of the saint, should (if that sight produces its desired effect and that message is received in a lively personal faith), produce a corresponding condition of heart and life in the people of God. The sight of a seated Christ at God’s right hand, having purged our sins (Heb. 1:4), effected reconciliation (Rom. 5:10), and procured peace (Col. 1:20), should set the soul at rest in the presence of God, purge the conscience, and give the joy of access to Him (Heb. 10:19) removing all fear and giving the heart rest in His presence. For there is nothing more to be done to provide title and fitness for us in the presence of God. The blood of Christ gives an inalienable title, and the Spirit of God given consequent on redemption, and now indwelling the saints, gives ability to use that title in drawing nigh to God.
But the Christian is expectant still, for until He, the “First-born” of the heavenly family comes to His own, until the “Heir” enters on the possession of His inheritance, His “brethren” (Heb. 2:11), who are to share it with Him, cannot have their portion. And so they hope and wait, refusing to “reign” in a world from which their Lord was cast out, or to have a settled dwelling where He was a Stranger. They are content to be “despised and rejected of men,” where their great Exemplar was denied His rights, and to suffer wrong where He was put to shame. They know well that the kingdom must be entered through “much tribulation” (Acts 14:22), so they reckon on a rough passage, with the bright hope of a warm welcome to their City Home in that land on which their eyes have long been set, which the Forerunner has already reached, and in which He now waits, seated and expectant.
These are great and glorious things indeed. But they will only yield their joy and strength, if they are welcomed to the soul, and given their freedom in the domination of the life and ways of the children of God.
Article series: Our Glorious LordChrist Glorified in Heaven The Crowned Christ in Humiliation, Exaltation, and Glory