Intro: Jesus was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem and buried in a new tomb. But the foundation of our faith as Christians rests in the fact that He came out of the grave. Jesus is alive!
But what is Jesus doing Now?
When it comes to the activity of God today, do we pay less attention to the work of Christ? We tend to credit the Father with all of those generic God functions, and we often consider and even debate what the Holy Spirit does today. But what about Jesus? Is our perception that he is in heaven just hanging out until the Father sends Him back again to judge the world. That is a mistaken understanding. Jesus is active today – working for you! If you are a Christian, your hope of eternal life rests in this fact – Jesus is alive and He is doing for you what you cannot do.
- Where is Jesus Now?
- The apostles were present after Jesus’ resurrection and testify that He ascended:
- Luke 24:51– Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.
- Acts 1:9-11– Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.“
- He is now at the Right Hand of God: Mark 16:19– So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. Acts 2:30-33“Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.“
- At the right hand of God, Jesus holds the highest possible rank: 1 Peter 3:22“who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.”Ephesians 1:20-21– “which 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 principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”
- What is the Present Work of Christ?
- He is Upholding. Heb 1:3 – who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
- The author is expressing the superiority and uniqueness of Jesus as it is expressed in His divinity. John 1 teaches us that Jesus (the Word) was in the beginning with God and was God. Nothing was made that He did not create. But Jesus also continues to administer over His creation. He upholds it. The Greek word means to carry, bear, or bring forth. It is also translated as sustains (NIV) holds together (NCV)
- The deist would tell us that God created this world, like a watch-maker puts a watch together, sits on the shelf and lets it wind down. But the reality is that the universe does not have an independent existence. Instead, it depends on a constant infusion of power from Jesus. If He were to cease upholding it even for a moment, all the visible creation would be obliterated.
- Even Science is baffled by the continuing existence of the universe. The best model that we have for understanding reality is the general theory of relativity. However, according to the general theory of relativity, the universe should not be holding together. Stars should disintegrate. Galaxies should fly apart. Scientists generally agree, then, that there is some force that we cannot define or measure that is sustaining the universe. Typically, they say that dark matter, which, again, no one ever has seen or measured, is responsible for this. Personally, I tend to suspect that this incredible force is nothing other than the word of the power of Jesus.
- What is Jesus doing today? He is wielding power on a scale that is cosmic, incomprehensible.
- He is Reigning: As Our King, He continues to exercise His authority over all things. Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The angels are subject to Him. He is the head over all things to the church (Col. 1:18). 1. He continues to rule through the authority of His revealed word.
- He is head of the church- Eph 1:19-23 – and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which 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 principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
- B. He is Speaking – As Our Prophet, He is God’s Spokesman today. Hebrews 1:1-2 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
- He speaks today through the inspired words of His apostles contained in scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. There is no higher authority in the lives of God’s people than the words delivered by Christ through the apostles.
C.He is Mediating (interceding)
- Note: There may be a difference between intercession and mediation – different words in Greek – in that there is only one who mediates for us (1 Tim 2:5-6 – For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time; one mediator of the new covenant – Heb. 9:15) there are others who can intercede for us through prayer. Intercessory prayer is commanded in the scriptures. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus intercedes for us – but it is always connected with the blood He gave as a propitiation. Intercession is approaching someone else on a third party’s behalf. Mediation is helping two other parties to resolve their differences – also rendered as reconciliation.
- I John 2:1 says that Jesus is our advocate (intercessor) and points to the blood he shed as a propitiation for sins.
- As Our High Priest, He still makes mediates for us with His own blood. Romans 8:34 – “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Hebrews 7:24-25“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
- He able to make intercession because He provided the necessary element of atonement – His blood. The power that Jesus exerts in our behalf today is the atoning power of His blood. Jesus spoke before His ascension at His last Passover in Matt 26:29“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Heb 9:11-13 “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
- Paul indicates the atoning value of Jesus’ sacrifice in Rom 3:23-26“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus”. Paul then addresses the continuing effect of Jesus’ blood in behalf of His children. Rom 5:9-11“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Being “saved His life” here is not the imputation of Jesus perfect righteousness to us, but His constant life of intercession in our behalf. He is not dead, but Alive forever more! This points to the value of being “in Christ”. Those who are not in Christ have no intercession available.
- He is Preparing– John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. Take a moment to consider the Greek grammar. Koiné Greek has a second-person plural pronoun. We might say it like this …rather than saying “you”, Jesus is saying “y’all”. In context, that means all of the people who still were present at the Last Supper, but by extension, it means all of us. Jesus is preparing to receive you and me. That is profound. He is working to prepare a place for you in heaven, right now. Right now, He is planning to come again and receive you to Himself, so that forever, wherever He is, there you will be.
Conclusion: There is a sense in which no one will be exempt from the impact of Jesus’ work.
- those who are ‘in Christ’ Jesus’ promises the power of His blood to reconcile them back to their Creator. Jesus will not fail to save those who are His – Heb 10:22-23 ..having a High Priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. If you and I are saved it will be because Jesus worked in our behalf – both at Calvary and at this present time. He paid the price of forgiveness. But I must be “In Christ” to benefit from the blessing of His intercession.
- To Those who are not “in Christ” Jesus’ work will be judgment. John the Baptist predicted Jesus’ authority to judge in Luke 3:17“His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.2 Cor. 5:9-10Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Acts 17:30-31 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.
Conclusion: Are you in Christ? Do you have an advocate who intercedes in your behalf? You can only get into Christ through baptism. Rom 6:2-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.