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?”