Ephesians 1:3-23. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers… that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 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. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Paul has taken us from petition to creed. From praying for us to declaring the greatness of Christ. He’s spent this whole chapter telling us about our blessings IN Christ, now he is telling us ABOUT Christ. Jesus is not only the resurrected one, he is the glorified one. He isn’t just alive, he is gloriously alive. He is in the presence of the Trinity again. He is seated on the throne of Heaven at the right hand of God.
This place of honor and power is the fulfillment of God’s prophetic plan for the Messiah. Psalm 110 is the most quoted psalm in the New Testament. It begins:
Psalm 110:1. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
When we think of Jesus as God it is no surprise that he is on the throne next to the Father where he belongs ruling the universe. But the shocking part of this prophecy and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ is that a HUMAN is sitting on the throne of heaven ruling the universe. One of us.
The man Aragorn is crowned king.
What God granted to us in the Garden- dominion, authority, and rule- are now finally ours in Christ. Christ is the new Adam and we are the new Eve who reign over the earth. Subduing it, serving it, loving it, and protecting it.
It is because Jesus is on the throne, and because we are in Christ, that Paul can go on to say in Ephesians 2:6 –
[God] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
We share in the great blessing of Jesus’ glorification and reign. This may be the most shocking of all of our blessings honestly. It is the climax of our blessings for sure. It’s much easier to think about the blessings of mercy that God bestows on us like forgiveness and adoption. We are pitiful and God rescues us out of our despair. Which is, of course true. But to see God putting a crown on our heads and placing us in authority over creation next to Jesus, next to the Father – this is too much. Mercy is mercy and even the pathetic get mercy. But this is grace. Glorious grace beyond belief.
There is great blessing in knowing that we serve an enthroned but embattled king. Look again at Psalm 110:1. Jesus is on the throne but the battle to bring all of his enemies under his feet still rages.
This “already but not yet” reality should bring us great comfort. When life feels like a war that’s because it is. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to make us long for heaven. The heaven where Jesus is orchestrating and awaiting his great and glorious return of the King. But also when life feels like a war we are blessed in knowing that all of Christ’s enemies (and ours) are destined to be under his feet (and ours).
“To live is Christ” means that all that happens to Jesus happens to us. We share in it all, including his glorification. There is nothing in us that deserves this abundant grace and mercy. It is all to the glory of God alone. Soli deo gloria!