2001-04-17 - Ascension to God's Right Hand
The Prophecy Fulfilled Series, Part 25
Psalm 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive Thy captives; Thou hast received gifts among men, even among the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there.
Mark 16:19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
See also Ephesians 4:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
On Sunday, April 15, 2001, many Christians around the world were observing Easter. For many others, however, this day was significant for an entirely different reason. For many this day will be remembered because it was the day when Joey Ramone, the founder of the Punk Rock band, The Ramones, died.
Joey has long been thought of as the father of the Punk Rock movement. I have heard several radio personalities talk about his influence over the last couple of days. One personality was in tears as she spoke about the influence Joey had had on her own life. She wished him good luck wherever he now was. Another DJ spoke wished Joey well on the next part of his journey.
A Christian never has to worry about needing "good luck" in his/her journey after death. A Christian never has to speak about life after death in evasive, general, and nonspecific terms as those are doing who are wishing Joey Ramone well in the next step on his journey. A Christian can speak about life after death in specific and confident terms. This is because Christ has preceded us in the resurrection and ascension. His resurrection and ascension are the seal of the believers resurrection and place in the kingdom of God, 1 Corinthians 15:20-25.
The Apostle Paul has confidence in the resurrection, but it was a confidence that he called his "hope." "having hope in God, which men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked." Acts 24:15 Even Job, when in despair because of his situation says, "And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God." Job 19:25, 26
It is common to have doubts about many things that are promised and future. Jesus knew this when He spoke with Martha in John 11 before he called forth for Lazarus to come back from the dead. Christ said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25, 16 We could ask ourselves the same question I suppose. But in asking we can also answer in confidence because we have the resurrection of Christ and His ascension to the right hand of God the Father as a seal. This shows us that as Christ was resurrected, so also He has promised to raise all those who believe in Him to eternal life in glory. John 5:28, 29.
Soli Deo Gloria,