I like a good movie, especially an action adventure. I love the unfolding of the mystery, the pursuit, the tension between good and evil, the emerging hero, and the triumphant ending. Yet if I might play the role of a movie critic for a moment, I have found some good movies going to the credits a little too quickly for my liking. They have left me wondering what happened next? A classic example of what I am talking about is the movie, Gone with the Wind. Based on the classic book with the same title, we all know that the movie ends with the famous statement, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” I have been told that people would ask the author Margaret Mitchell. “What happened when tomorrow came?” “What happened to Scarlett O’Hara?” The author never gave an answer. There would be no sequel; the story was concluded!
Turning to the Gospels, Jesus’ earthly life ended on a high note! There was His physical resurrection, followed by several post-resurrection appearances and then His ascension into heaven. But have you ever wondered what came next? What is our risen Lord doing now? In answering that question the Scriptures inform us of several activities on the part of our exalted Savior that encourage the Christian endlessly.
First, Jesus is sitting! After His resurrection and ascension Jesus sat down at the right hand of God (Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3). The significance of this is explained when contrasted with the fact that the Levitical Priest in offering sacrifices for the peoples sin never sat down. But because Jesus offered a full and final sacrifice for sin, He sat down. His redemptive work was complete (Heb. 10:11-14). Jesus’ sitting down is a glorious reminder that the debt of our sin has been paid in full.
Second, Jesus is speaking! While Jesus was on earth He was found praying often and now in heaven He continues to pray (Heb. 7:25; 9:24; Rom. 8:34). Right now, Jesus’ presence and prayers in heaven secure for the redeemed all the benefits of His redemption. He is praying that our faith does not fail as He did for Peter in Luke 22; He is praying for our impact in the world as He did for the disciples in John 17. As someone has said, “Thirty years of living; three years of serving; one mighty act of dying; and nineteen hundred years of praying.” What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and grief to bear?
Third, Jesus is securing! To dwell in the house of the Lord forever has been the dream and desire of the saints throughout history and now, amazingly, Jesus is securing that reality. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus has gone to prepare us a place in the Father’s House (John 14:1-6). Jesus is making all the necessary preparations for our safe and joyous arrival in heaven. Its fun to think about the fact that Jesus created the world in six days but in contrast, He has been working on our dwellings in heaven for nearly two thousand years!
What is Jesus doing now? Praise the Lord He is sitting, speaking and securing!