Victory in Christ's Acension
The Victory in Christ's Ascension (Romans 8)
Christians look backward at the cross and empty tomb. They look forward toward the second advent of Christ. But they must also look upward toward our ascended Lord. "Set your heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1). The ascending Christ looked downward at His disciples, roundward at the hostile spiritual forces, and upward toward the throne of God. These are the three dimensions of His victory.
The Ascending Christ Takes the Downward Look
As our Lord ascended in victory toward the Father's throne, He looked down at the disciples. He gave them two promises. He gave them the promise of the Spirit, the Paraclete. Concerning the past, the Spirit would remind them of everything He had said to them (John 14:26). Concerning the future, the Spirit would be teacher, leader, and reporter of God's will (16:13).
He gave them the promise of His presence. In the assembly of the church, He would be with them (Matt. 18:19). In the work of the ministry, He would always be with them (28:19-20). As the ascending Christ looked downward on the Christians He left on earth, He gave those two promises.
The Ascending Christ Takes the Roundward Look
As Christ ascended through the heavens, He moved through ranks, layers, and divisions of hostile spiritual powers (Col. 1:16, 20b; Phil. 2:10; Rom. 8:38-39). As He passed through them, He conquered them.
He disarmed them. He took away their power to sting and torment men. He disgraced them. He put the malevolent, spiritual powers to open shame. He displayed them. Upon His arrival in heaven, He held a triumphal parade to demonstrate His victory. We need not fear the demonic powers. They cannot keep true believers in their grasp. They are defeated foes.
The Ascending Christ Takes the Upward Look
As our Lord arrived at the portals of heaven, four great realities awaited Him at His triumphant homecoming: He received His coronation as King, and His ordination as Priest.
He began His intervention as Advocate and His preparation as Forerunner.
His victory is total in every dimension, beneath, around, and above. "We are more than conquerors through him" (Rom. 8:37)