Devotion for May 1, 2018

“He raised [Christ] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” – Ephesians 1:20-23

When we consider the fact that after His resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven, we might ask ourselves “Why?” Why did it happen like this? Wouldn’t it have been better if He had stayed on earth after He had risen from the dead so that people could see Him and believe? Wouldn’t it be easier for us if people could go to the place where Jesus was and ask Him all their hard questions? Wouldn’t life be better if Jesus was still walking the earth, healing people and raising the dead like He did during His earthly ministry?

For our fallen flesh, which will always doubt, this seems to make sense. But we know that the Lord always does what’s best, even if our fallen minds can’t grasp it at the time. St. Paul explains to us that the reason Christ ascended was so that He would be above all rule and authority and power and dominion. All things would be put under His feet, that is, under His rule. JesusÆ ascension into heaven and being seated at the right hand of the Father isn’t about His location. It’s about His status as the Lord of all. He rules over all things. Nothing is outside of His dominion.

Even better than that is the fact that He rules for the good of His Church. Not only has He been given authority over all things, He’s also been given to us as the head of the Church. He rules for our good as His people. He is our head and we are His body. That means that He’ll take care of us, He’ll lead us, and He’ll protect us, just as we would do for our own bodies. Because He has all authority in heaven and on earth, that means that He exercises that authority for our benefit.

The ascension of Jesus is a source of great comfort. We know that where our head has gone, we will follow as His body. We follow Him through life, through death, and then into resurrection and glory. Nothing can come between Jesus and His Church. Nothing can stop Him from doing good for her. He reigns at the right hand of the Father and we know that everything He does with His infinite wisdom and power is done for our good.

Prayer: Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.