Christ Exalted: 3. Session

There are times when we long to sit down – perhaps when we have been working hard or on a demanding task.  For us to sit down means rest – an opportunity for recovery.  It can also indicate a task completed.  When we read in Scripture that Christ ‘sat down’, it cannot speak of tiredness, but of completion.  We will consider Christ Exalted: 3. Session.

1. Atonement completed

Throughout his earthly ministry Jesus was profoundly conscious of having a mission he was to carry out (John 4:34) – there was a divine necessity governing his road to the cross (Matthew 16:21).  The nature of his mission is stated in 1 Timothy 1:15 ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  His redemptive mission was accomplished by his death on the cross as Substitute for the sins of his people.  There was no possibility that he would fail to fulfil his mission.  His final words were a cry of triumph: ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30) – it has been and remains finished.  This contrasts starkly with the OT sacrificial system.  As Hebrews 10:11 states, ‘every priest stands’ – there was no end to the animal sacrifices which could not take away sins.  Christ, however, has offered a perfect sacrifice and sits (v12).  A sitting priest has completed his sacrificial work.  The session of Christ at the Father’s right hand confirms that complete atonement has been made.

2. Dominion exercised

At the Father’s right hand the seated Saviour is not idle.  He exercises dominion over all things (Matthew 28:18).  This is his mediatorial kingship and is linked to his session in Ephesians 1:20-21.  Thus seated, Christ exercises universal dominion, with nothing excluded from his authority.  The Triune God exercises his power through Christ.  As v22 shows, this dominion is for the benefit of the church and serves God’s redemptive purpose.  Seated at the Father’s right hand, Christ awaits the placing of all things in submission to his dominion.  At present some persist in rebellion, but finally all his enemies will be made his footstool (Hebrews 10:13).  In particular ‘the last enemy to be destroyed is death’ (1 Corinthians 15:26).  The fact that Christ sits and reigns should fill us with hope and thanksgiving. 

3. Intercession performed

Romans 8:34 indicates a further aspect of Chrit’s work as he sits in heaven: he ‘is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.’  What does that mean?  The three persons of the Trinity are one in being and do not need to communicate with each other as we do.  The language of Romans 8:34 is an explanation of Christ’s ministry in terms we can understand.  Our needs are fully known, and his intercession is perfect and lacks nothing.  Note:

            as man he understands our needs in infinite detail.

            as God he knows all our needs and is able to provide what is needed.

            as Saviour he has shed the blood that purchases every blessing.

            as the Eternal One he ‘always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:25).

Christ pleads the perfection of his finished atoning work and with the Father and the Holy Spirit delights to supply our every need so that we ‘lack nothing’ (Psalm 23:1).

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