Friday, 15 July 2016
…which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20
These words now explain “what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” of the previous verse. The “which” of this verse refers especially to “the working” of the previous. This is marvelously described by Albert Barnes –
“The ‘power’ which was then exerted was as great as that of creation. It was imparting life to a cold and “mangled” frame. It was to open again the arteries and veins, and teach the heart to beat and the lungs to heave. It was to diffuse vital warmth through the rigid muscles, and to communicate to the body the active functions of life. It is impossible to conceive of a more direct exertion of ‘power’ than in raising up the dead; and there is no more striking illustration of the nature of conversion than in such a resurrection.”
In the resurrection, God’s mighty power was on display in such a marvelous way that it becomes the believer’s very point of hope. We can understand creation because we can see it, we can analyze it, and we can contemplate it. In so doing, we understand the marvelous majesty of the Creator. We can consider how immense His power must be by that which He has created. The same is true with the resurrection of Christ for the believer.
In the resurrection, we can understand the power of God in a new way. Nothing, not even death, could hold back God’s power in the reanimation of the body of Christ. As this is so, then if we are in Christ, we can then be assured of this in us as well. We can trust that the power of God which worked in Christ will also work in like manner in us.
In this Epistle, Paul highlights this marvelous moment, but then he goes beyond it. God raised Christ from the dead, but He also “seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” This is a confirmation of Jesus’ own words in Matthew 28 –
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18
Christ, at the right hand of God, is in the position of power and authority. It means that in Him is all of the power of creation and resurrection. The greatest powers ever contemplated are endowed in Him. Because of this, we have the absolute assurance that we too will be resurrected, just as He was. It is a guarantee that cannot fail.
For now, we are to look to Christ with eyes of faith and to behold the majesty of God, who stepped out of the eternal realm, in order to restore us once again to intimate fellowship. This He did through Jesus Christ, and this He continues to do now through Him. All things are being brought to their fulfillment through Christ, who even now sits on heaven’s throne.
Life application: Are you sure that there is ground beneath your feet? You should be as sure in your faith that Christ has all things under control as you are of the fact that the ground is really there. Don’t doubt, but look to Christ who has gone before us into the heavenly places.
Lord God, we stand in awe of your marvelous power which is on display throughout the heavens. In Your creation, there is more power than we could ever truly imagine, and yet you are the One who brought it all into existence by simply speaking. If all of this came from You, then how marvelous You are! Why should we fear when Christ has gone before us in death and in resurrection. If He has done that for us, then we too have the same sure hope. Thank You for displaying Your magnificent power in such a grand act of love! Amen.