51 - Of What Advantage to Us Is Christ's Ascension?

Question 51

Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. This time we ask the question, "Of what advantage to us is Christ's ascension?”

Bryan Chapell, the Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, and the Founder and Chairman of Unlimited Grace, writes:

The ascension is Christ’s enthronement as King over all. When he ascended, he showed that he ruled over death and that he continues to assume his place of authority over all the world. The very One who created the world is the One who continues to rule it by the word of his power.

Now when we say that Christ rules, we mean that in his ascension he assumed the office of King that he had before he came to earth. While on this earth, he continued to maintain all things and accomplish all his purposes, even to his death and resurrection. But as now the ascended Lord, he is Lord over all. He is the One who controls all things so that they are working for the good of those who love him.

But he’s not simply King. He, in his ascension, is interceding for us at the right hand of God. He continues to fulfill the office of a priest as well, providing what is needed as advocacy and intercession before the Father. As we repent of our sins, as we pray to God, our sins are taken by the Son of God, acting as a priest on our behalf, as the One who now intercedes for us, so that God will listen and act in our behalf.

All this means that Christ in his ascension is operating for our present good. He’s ruling our present circumstances. He’s advocating for us in our present circumstances. He’s sending his Word into our hearts so that we can handle our present circumstances. But that’s not the end of his job.

That ascended Lord is the One who, by being Prophet, Priest, and King, is ruling over our present and preparing for our future.

Romans 8:34 (NASB)

34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

We can respond to question fifty-one with the following answer: Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as He came down to earth physically on our account, and He is now advocating for us in the presence of His Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us His Spirit.

Jesus ascended so He could advocate for us before the Father. Jesus intercedes on our behalf and blesses us with the Holy Spirit as He sits at the right hand of the Father. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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Jesus’ Ascension means we now have a High Priest at God’s right hand who prays for us to the Father. He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us as we await His return.

Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through Romans 8:34. Take a moment to reflect on the Ascension. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of the Ascension, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize Romans 8:34. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you reflect on the Ascension.

 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here

NOTE: A previous version of the New City Catechism featured video teaching from Joshua Harris, who has since renounced Christianity and his work with the New City Catechism.