It is difficult to imagine the glory Jesus is experiencing in heaven right now as I write. When we think of Jesus, our minds often race back to the life he lived on earth, which of course is good and proper, but we must grab hold of our minds and in faith consider the life he is living now in heaven.
Imagine the moment Jesus ascended into heaven.
The disciples staring up at the sky, the angels looking down in expectation. There has never been a reversal as great as this one. Not too many days before, men spitting at him, striking him, nailing his hands to a piece of wood. Now, the angels falling down and worshiping, God the Father welcoming Him, and giving Him the highest honor that has ever been shown.
When Christ came into this world he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.”
When he hung on the cross, he cried out,
“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
And when he ascended into heaven, God the Father said, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
What a shout of joy must have rocked the heavenly throne room on that day. While the disciples trembled, the angels must have been crying out in triumph.
It is easier for me to think of Jesus as suffering than it is to think of Him as reigning. But He is and He will. And I think my failure to meditate on the glorious rule of Christ keeps me from better enjoying the shocking love of Christ. If someone says, can you imagine that Jesus loves you right now, I would say of course. But why can I say that without hesitation? Is it because I trust the promises of God? I hope that’s true at least partially. But I think perhaps it’s because I haven’t fully appreciated the glory of Christ. I mean, imagine the most beautiful, most wise, most glorious Person in the Universe. Think about the throne room of God and the angels covering their eyes and hands and feet and crying out Holy, Holy, Holy. Consider the sheer magnificence of this Person. He’s absolutely incomparable. Hold anything up next to Him and it pales in significance. Now let’s ask this question again as you stand gazing upon Him with the glorious and powerful angels trembling in wonder beside you, can you imagine that Jesus loves you right now? Love me? I don’t even deserve to be within a thousand miles of someone this important, this majestic, this powerful. Notice me? It’s even hard to see how He can look upon someone like me without disgust.
But He does and He wants me to believe it! That’s the point. Imagining Christ in his glory makes his love harder to believe and much more wonderful at the same time. When I see Him on earth, I feel like he might love someone like me, because I see that time and time again he does. But now that He is in heaven? The glorious good news of the gospel is that his heart, his pity and his compassion, remains the same. He is as meek, as gentle, as easy to be approached, as tender and kind, now, today in glory as he was then.
The lamb is a lion and the lion is a lamb.