PFOA Apostles' Creed: He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty


He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:8-11 (ESV).

The disciples watched with eyes and mouth opened wide as Jesus was taken up before them. How was He taken up? It certainly wasn't like Enoch who just disappeared (Gen. 5:24)! Was it like Elijah who got into a chariot and horses of fire in full view of Elisha (2 Kings 2:11)? Perhaps with the help of sci-fi authors He was beamed-up. The disciples were watching intently, trying to figure how it happened when the angels appeared. Their message to them was first a promise, Jesus has ascended to heaven, and He will come again. But it was also "Stop staring into the sky, and get on with it". Get on with what? With the command Jesus gave in His final words to them, "You shall be my witnesses ..."

We all know with that command, Jesus also promised that they will be empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. But more than that, we believe "He sits at the right hand of God the Father". Traditionally, the seat on the right of a king or ruler is the place of highest honour and authority. In Eph. 1:20,21 Paul described God raising Christ from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in heaven, above all rule and authority, power and dominion. Jesus, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, has all the power and authority of God. Jesus Christ has completed the work of redemption and now takes His seat with the Father. He has the authority to give eternal life (John 17:2). His stands before God as our mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). He has gone ahead to heaven to prepare a place for His believers (John 14:2,3). The churches are His, and He walks in the midst of them, knowing their work - achievements, challenges and motivation (Rev. 2.1,2). His is patient and long-suffering, but in due time, He will come again and He will judge. "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Rev. 3:21,22). We too, will have the right to sit with Christ on His throne. What honour, what glory awaits us!

Jesus said "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me". An authority far above any physical, political, financial, economic or social authority we encounter on earth. As Peter and the apostles replied to the judges they faced "We must obey God rather than men! (Acts 5:29)" so may we, in submission to the authority of Christ, have the boldness to do the same.