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Midnight Musings

Cambia al Español

How Big Is Jesus?

Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Nicene Creed: “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”

The Ascension is a dimension of the Easter mystery. Not only does Jesus live with a new, transformed, full existence in the Father’s kingdom, he also shares his Father’s throne and power. His ascension to Lordship adds to the resurrection story, as our prayer conclusion explains: “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives [resurrection] and reigns [ascension] with you.” The image of “sitting” at the right hand of God means he “sits” to reign and rule at the “right hand” of God, that is, with all of the power of God. While the Father has no body, his “right hand” represents his all-powerful reach.

Something new happened two thousand years ago to change God’s relationship with the universe in general and the human race in particular. The eternal Son has always lived in union with the Father and the Spirit. Yet through the resurrection and ascension, the incarnate Son, become human, now lives and reigns with the power of God. In his resurrection and ascension Jesus did not drop his humanity but elevated it. A human, one of us, now rules the universe and is present everywhere. Simple logic: Jesus is with God; God is everywhere; therefore, Jesus is everywhere. The resurrected Jesus does not live somewhere in space, but he lives with us because he is present throughout the universe. And he joins us, the Church, to his victory over sin and death, as St. Paul’s letter (Ephesians 1:20-23) proclaims God’s great might “which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.”

Political powers, kings, dictators, presidents– all come and go. Business empires rise and fall. Political and economic powers push and pull. Cancer and heart attacks devastate our bodies. Terrorist bombers in the UK or the US can do what they want. But the Lord Jesus is the one ultimately in control, who will have the final word. His reign dwarfs earthly powers and pretenses. He is with us, come what may, and he leads us through life and even death into his Father’s presence. That’s why we say everything is “through Christ our Lord.” Are we one with him? No wonder he tells us so often in scriptures that we have no reason to fear!

Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Yours in Christ,
Father Paul
Fr. Paul Vuturo