John 17:6; Ps. 2:7-12; 1 Cor. 15:20-28
How does God view you? Have you ever thought about that? Some people have real problems with seeing themselves as fully forgiven and adopted children of the Almighty. Others think waaaaaaay too highly of themselves (actually I think this is a more common problem than the first), and they’re encouraged to see themselves as doing the Almighty a favor by accepting Jesus as their Savior.
I’d like to introduce a new word into this study on Jesus’ exaltation after he ascended back to the Father, a word which can give us perspective on ourselves: Inheritance. Let’s take a look at what the three passages above have to say about this.
In a sense, you belonged to God before the first moment of time. Now, how you interpret such things as “predestination” and “election,” will affect how you interpret the sense in which we “belonged” to God in eternity past. But however you want to try to unravel such mysteries, the Bible clearly teaches it. Before the first moment when God said “Let there be. . .” and no longer was the only Being in the universe, he knew you and loved you and (in some sense) chose you.
And at the right time, the Father “gave” you to his Son. You were a gift to Jesus. And he claimed you as his own. There are lots of terms for this claiming: Salvation, adoption, redemption, etc. But he did.
But the inheritance didn’t stop there. According to the second Psalm, God the Father has promised a much larger inheritance to the Son. What’s this inheritance? Everything seen and unseen. As Abraham Kuyper put it, "There is not an inch of any sphere of life over which Jesus Christ does not say, 'Mine.'"
That includes all the nations of the world. It includes all the “people groups” within those nations, the sub-groups which you can distinguish by language, culture, etc. It includes all organizations, businesses, clubs, and households. Every person on this planet is claimed—in some sense—by Jesus Christ. That’s what the great spiritual war is all about, of course. As Lewis put it, every square inch of the universe is claimed by the Son and counterclaimed by the Enemy.
And it’s ongoing, every moment of every day. Right now, in some sense, Jesus is already ruling from Heaven over all creation. But saying all creation belongs to him isn’t the same as taking possession of it, which is why the Father said to him “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” This turning of Jesus' enemies into footstools is not instantaneous, at least in some sense. It happened officially the moment Jesus sat back down on his throne after the Ascension, but large parts of creation are still in rebellion.
What do you think is happening when someone receives Christ as Savior and Boss? Why do you think the Enemy so viciously works against true evangelism? That’s where you and I step into the picture, onto the grand and glorious stage. There’s a civil war going on, and unfortunately we live in territory occupied by the rebels. And when we share the Good News about Jesus with someone and that person turns to Christ, we're invading Enemy territory and planting the flag of the Lord Jesus in the ground. That’s less territory that the Enemy owns. Talk about whacking the hornet's nest!
And it won’t stop until the end of human history. One day the Lord Jesus will physically return in power and glory, have one last struggle with the Great Dragon, and possess what he’s inherited. Once he’s won the last great battle, all creation will bow before him and acknowledge him as Lord over all.
And what will he do then? Hand it all back to his Father. That includes us.
In fact, we’re his most precious treasure. We’re the brightest jewels in his crown. We’re his most valued possession, his beloved children, bought and paid for by his blood. If you count value by what someone’s willing to pay for something, then we’re of infinite value. But let us not forget, we belong to him, not to ourselves. Please, let’s not forget.
Lord Jesus, once again I feel like imitating Job for a while. Words seem so inadequate sometimes. Thank you. I’m yours.