Intro: The Biblical account of Christ’s bodily resurrection is not a stand-alone event in history; yet all to often we only think of it in terms of Easter and the astounding events associated with that first Easter morning. The purpose of this lesson is to confirm that Jesus’ bodily resurrection has far greater implications than we ever imagined. We will show you the inter-connectivity between Christ’s resurrection, his ascension, and finally his being seated on the Throne of the Universe.
Explain: We must not frame the resurrection of Jesus only in terms of the fact of the empty tomb. Once we accept by faith that his tomb is empty because he is risen, we must move on to meaning of his resurrection. When reading the historical accounts of the four Gospels we are focusing on the actuality of the resurrection, not it’s greater meaning. It is the teaching of Paul in 1st Corinthians that will interpret the deeper meaning of Christ’s resurrection. 1st Cor. 15 is Paul’s attempt to unpack the “meaning” of Christ’s resurrection. He further amplifies it’s meaning in Ephesians 2 and Romans 8.
Notice: “I delivered to you as of first importance, what I also received, that Christ (messiah) died for our sins, according to the scriptures…” (1cor. 15:3)
1.The importance of Christ’s resurrection- “of first importance”
Note: Without resurrection, Messiah’s death is a tragedy, not a triumph. He is no Savior who cannot save himself
- The OT affirms Messiah’s resurrection- “according to the scriptures”
Note: Christ’s resurrection is no afterthought with God. It is an essential part of His eternal plan, indeed the climax to the Gospel story.
Psalms 19 fulfilled= the greater David is here! David is dead but Jesus, son of David, lives forevermore!
Apply: Death is defeated, the curse of sin is lifted, and a new age has begun. Jesus is the “first fruits” of resurrection life, a promise of even greater things to come. See 1st Cor 15:20 Jesus is raised and intends to bring many sons to Glory (Heb 2:10)
Explain: The English word “Ascension”, is a theological description of Jesus leaving this earth after his bodily resurrection. It is not a biblical word. It carries the idea of Jesus going “up” into the air. Did Jesus really go “up”? Did he ascend or did he “transcend” into another sphere or dimension of life?
ILLUST: The Biblical worldview is pre-science, and always describes earth as a flat table top, with legs beneath (pillars) and with heaven above and hades or Sheol below. Thus, Jesus was “taken up into the clouds”
The NT has only three references to Christ’s departure:
Mark 16:19 “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD” (Ps.110:1)
Luke 24:51 “and it came about that while He was blessing them, He was carried up into heaven.”
Acts 1:9 “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
1.What is the importance of Christ’s Ascension in connect with his resurrection?
Explain: What if Jesus had merely been raised and walked the earth without ascending? If so, the Holy Spirit would not have come to indwell his disciples. Resurrection is incomplete without ascension. The new birth of God’s new people (the church) would not have been possible. Jesus told us that in John 14:16-20. He promised we would not be left as helpless orphans, but that he would come to us in his indwelling Spirit.
John 14: 20 =Ascension makes resurrection life possible for us.
Apply: His Ascension is the first fruits of our Ascension! Christ’s disciples are ascended together with Christ to join him on the Throne. (Eph. 2:5,6)
Illustration: The Resurrection, Ascension, and Enthronement of Jesus was not just to validate Him but was to complete the Gospel story. It includes and invites us (the Church) to participate with Christ in his victory.
Explain: Because Jesus is the son of David, he is a King and a king must have a throne. The Jews saw Messiah as the greater David, ruling from David’s Throne. The book of Hebrews traces Jesus’ journey from the cross to the grave to resurrection to the throne of God.
Heb.1:3 “…When he had made purification of sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.”
Heb.1:13 “but to which of the angels has He said, “sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies a footstool for thy feet”?
Heb 12:2 “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God.”
1.His Throne declares he is the King of all Kings
Revelation 4= The Lamb of God (Jesus)is seated on the Throne and all of creation is worshiping him, crying out, “worthy, worthy is the lamb who was slain!”
2.He shares his victory and his authority with his Bride
Explain: We as believers are benefactors of Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and Kingship. See Eph 2:5,6, where 3 times we see “together with” verbs. These are called “co-experience verbs” meaning that what is true of Jesus in his death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and coronation is also true of us as believers. His experience becomes our experience. These “together with him” phrases are common in the epistles.
1.” made alive together with Christ” vs.5
2.” raised up together with him” vs. 6
- “seated together with him in the heavenly places” vs. 6
Romans 8:17 “co-heirs with Christ”; “sufferers together with Christ”; and “glorified together with Christ”
Apply: The Believer has “Throne rights” meaning we share in all Christ has accomplished. We were with Him when he rose, ascended, and was crowned King. We are “in Christ” thus all that is true of Jesus experience is true of our experience. In the mind and purpose of God, we are already seated in Christ’s lap, at the right hand of God almighty! He shares his authority with us. Just take time to carefully read Paul’s prayer for the Church in Ephesians 1:18-23; and you will see who you are in Christ.
- His victory of over death, hell and the grave are also ours since we are “in Him”
- Everything that is under Christ’s feet is also under our feet
- He is in us praying for us and on the throne interceding for us.
- Our Ruling here in the NOW, is preparation for ruling in the kingdom when the King returns.
- The Garden will be restored, new earth, new heavens, a new race of humanity serving the King.
- None of this means anything or makes any difference unless you by faith, trust it and act upon it.
- What are you believing God for today? Does your believing come from your position on the Throne?