Christ the Same Today: Christ, Now Risen, Exalted, and Ascended

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and to the ages.”

I Corinthians 15: 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

I Corinthians 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Romans 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Christ is the vine to whom all Christians have been joined, grafted, connected. The reason we are imputed with Christ’s righteousness ( the result sharing in having legal property in Christ’s finished work) is because we are united to Christ the risen person.

I will not say that first we are united to Him and then logically imputed with His work, because 1. there is no union with His risen person apart from legal imputation. There is no being joined to His risen person which is not also being joined to His finished work.

2. There is an union to His work before there is an union to His risen person and this means that Christ died for the elect, and only for the elect. The elect are chosen in Christ, not chosen to be in Christ, so Christ died for them before they exist and before they are united to His risen person. (This does not answer all questions about the nature of Abraham’s union to Christ, before Christ died for Abraham.)

3. Is there a difference between Romans 5:18 (being constituted righteous) and II Cor 5:21 (become the righteousness of God in Christ)?

Is there a difference between John 15 and Romans 6? Is John 15 something other than (even more than) the legal of Romans 6?

Christ is now lifted up, raised high like the bronze serpent lifted up by Moses (John 3:14). “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he…” (John 8;28) The lifting up is mainly Christ’s death: the elect were always chosen in Christ, but Christ was not always dead. Only now has Christ been dead and risen: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. He said this to show what kind of death He was going to die.” (John 12:32-33.

Now Christ is seated in heaven (Acts 2:34; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:13). The justified elect are not in heaven, except by legal union/imputation with Christ. The justified elect have not ascended to a place from which they never descended. (John 3:13)

Psalm 110:1–“The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The justified elect do not share God’s throne and do not sit at God’s right hand. The heavenly glory Christ had enjoyed in the Father’s presence before His incarnation has now been “crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death. (Hebrews 2:9) Sitting there at the right hand, Christ does not simply wait but intercedes for the justified elect.

We cannot simply talk about Christ’s death that has now happened, which had not happened before. We must also talk about Christ’s exaltation and ascension. An ascent directly into heaven from the cross would be Plato’s pagan idea of death as the release of an immortal soul; it would be a gnostic resurrection of only the spirit, and not a bodily resurrection. So the being lifted up on the cross to die was the beginning of Christ’s exaltation but not yet the return of the now incarnate Son in embodied glory to his Father.

Ephesians 1:20 describes God’s mighty power “which He exercised in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenlies.” See also I Peter 1:21, 3:22; Eph 4:8-10; and I Timothy 3:16 (“He was taken up into glory”)

Luke 24:26-” Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory/”

Acts 3:15–“You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.”

Romans 8:34–“What judge will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus who died, and more than that, was raised to life, who indeed is at the right hand of God, and who is pleading our cause?”

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7 Comments on “Christ the Same Today: Christ, Now Risen, Exalted, and Ascended”


    Donald Mcleod, p202, the Person of Christ, IVP, 1998–

    The hypostatic union did not by itself secure the theiosis of every human being. In fact, the hypostatic union did not by itself secure the theiosis of even our Lord’s human nature. He was glorified not because He was God incarnate but because he finished the work given him to do (John 17:4).

    It is perfectly possible to be human and yet not be in Christ, because although the incarnation unites Christ to human nature it does not unite him to me.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Christ’s ascension was not before His resurrection

    Psalm 24:3
    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?

    Psalm 68:18
    You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

    John 1:51
    And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

    john 3:13
    No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

    John 6:62
    What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

    Acts 2:34
    For David did not ascend into the heavens

    Romans 10: 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim).

  3. markmcculley Says:

    job 38: 16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
    17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

    Revelation 1:5 Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

    Revelation 1:18 I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

    Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.j

  4. markmcculley Says:

    Didn’t Lazarus and Stephen and Paul go up to heaven to see God?
    II Corinthians 12: 2 I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know, God knows.
    Acts 7: 55 But Stephen, filled by the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven. He saw God’s glory, with Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 56 “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and together rushed against him. 58 They threw him out of the city and began to stone him. And the witnesses laid their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They were stoning Stephen as he called out: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin!” And saying this, Stephen fell asleep.
    Acts 2: 29 “Brothers, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah :He was not left in Hades,and His flesh did not experience decay. 32 “God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this.33 Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into the heavens
    John 1:18
    No one has ever seen God.
    The One and Only Son—
    the One who is at the Father’s side
    He has revealed Him.

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Acts 3: 21 Heaven must welcome Him until the times of the restoration of all things

    Philippians 3:20 We wait from heaven a Savour

    John 16—It is to your advantage that I go away

    Ephesians 4:10
    The One who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, in order to fill all things.

    John Calvin–If Christ only fills all things in an invisible manner, then the substance of His body would have been wiped out and there would be no difference between deity and human nature….Christ is spread abroad everywhere by His Spirit not by the substance of His flesh.

  6. markmcculley Says:

    I Peter 1: 20 Christ was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages for you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ……………………was Christ (the elect one) ever under the wrath of God? Was Christ himself in history ever under the condemnation of the law?
    Maybe you just want to talk about the “application” of the atonement, but it’s impossible to say that the atonement was applied to all the elect before history without also about Christ having completed the atonement before history. Did Christ complete the atonement before history? if Christ had already died for all the elect for eternity, then when was Christ ever under the wrath of God? If Christ had already died for all the elect before history, then why was His incarnation and death in redemptive history necessary?

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