Midway through this month we’ll celebrate an important holiday in the church. “Mother’s Day? “ You say. That is an important one, and may we never neglect to appreciate our mothers, they are a gift from God, yet that’s not what I had in mind.
Forty days after Jesus rose from the dead and after he had appeared to numerous followers and disciples, Paul counts them more than five hundred, Jesus did what he had been announcing since Holy Week. “I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (John 16:28). Indeed that’s what he did. We call it the ascension. He was taken up before his disciples very own eyes and “sat down” at the right hand of the Father.
I’ve been noticing that people have become more creative about their workplace seating as of late. I’ve talked to numerous people who’ve given up the concept of a chair for a standing desk. Some even stand on a balancing board of some sort. I’ve visited the office of some who sit atop yoga balls and others whose deckchairs could rival any Barcalounger for comfort. I saw an add recently for a type of reclining office chair almost looks likes it’s preparing it’s victim to meet the dentist.
That’s made me wonder. If Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, what kind of chair was prepared for him? Jesus spoke to the Father before his crucifixion saying, “I have glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). On the cross Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30) and Hebrews 1:3 says, “After making purification for sins he sat down at the right hand…”. These all might imply that now the hard work is done, now that Jesus endured the painful seat on the cross, it’s time for him to kick back and relax. Maybe it is a lounge chair he’s seated in taking a timeless little siesta until the Father calls him up when this world that he left is ready for his return. If so him, then me too. Paul says we have been “raised up with him” and “seated with him” in the “heavenly places” Ephesians 2:6. Shall we put our feet up and relax until he returns?
As tempting as that thought is, Hebrews 1:3 continued, “he sat down at the right hand of Majesty on high,” and 1 Corinthians 15:25 said, “he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” Philippians 1:6 further explained, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and Ephesians 2:10 Paul related to us, “we are...created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Jesus is seated not on a recliner but a throne. He still has work to do. He has not stopped. He will never need to die again for sins, “death no longer has dominion over him” (Romans 6:9). Yet, he is continuing until sin and death are so firmly under his feet that they no longer hold any dominion in our lives either. Until then, being seated with him means that we too are about his business. We have a cubicle in his office space. We are accomplishing his ends. Paul wrote, “it is God who works in us to will and to do according to his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Our salvation is in hand, Jesus’ hand, but in what he has left to do Paul said one thing counts for us, “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
What kind of a chair will you need for that?