How should the fact that Jesus is now enthroned in heaven affect the way we live and worship?

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When the Scriptures tell us that Jesus is exalted at the right hand of the Father and that the Father that has given to him a name that is above every name, we need to remember that that is not simply a statement that affirms how glorious Jesus is, but it is a statement that reminds us of all that he has done in his life of perfect obedience, of self-sacrifice, to redeem God's creation. So for instance, his resurrection from the dead is God's testimony to us that his creation will not be abandoned. Even in all of its fallenness and sinfulness, God cannot abandon his creation to the power of death and destruction. Jesus is resurrected from the dead. He ascends back into heaven, the victorious One who has overcome the power of death and the power of sin. So his enthronement in heaven reminds us of what he has done in God's great plan to reclaim all of creation. But not only that, his overcoming of sin and death is the undoing of Adam's fallenness. As Paul says in Romans 5, just as sin and death came into the world through one man, such a more glorious gift has come into the world through Jesus that life has come into the world. And Jesus, undoing the power of Adam's fallenness, has in essence created in his glorious resurrected ascendency back to the Father's throne, he has created for us a whole new way of life. It's not that Jesus rises from the dead and then asks us to try really hard to be good people. No, he has paved a way that we can live if we live in him. And that way of life will take us all the way to the right hand of the father, for even now we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Thirdly, the ascendence of Jesus and his enthronement means that the Holy Spirit has been poured out, for he goes back to the Father, not to rest in his own glory, but so that the Spirit could be sent upon those who believe; in that our lives can be transformed by the presence of God. Lost in the Fall, but reclaimed for us by Christ, given to us in Christ. Therefore, how should we live and respond and worship? We live by saying to God, "Make me like Jesus. I know there's not a bunch of rules I should follow. I know there's not a bunch of legalisms I should keep, but make me like Christ. Fill me with his character. Let me live in his victory over sin and death, over fear, over anything that would hold me back from being what you want me to be, Father. Let me live in the victory of Jesus." That's the way it should affect our lives. How should it affect our worship? We should be filled with an absolute awe-filled love for this God, this God who would break the power of sin, this God who would carry our humanity in Christ back to his own throne to let us live in Christ there at the right hand of the Father, spiritually speaking. All over the great love of God for us should drive all of our worship. And a joy unspeakable and full of glory should not only mark our worship but every day that we live if we understand what it means that Jesus is exalted at the right hand of God.

Answer by Dr. Steve Blakemore

Dr. Steve Blakemore is the Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wesley Biblical Seminary