Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into glory. When Paul says that “he ascended up on high,” he speaks both of the place to which he ascended in his human nature, the highest heaven, and particularly that state to which he was advanced, for then he was highly exalted in the eternal glory.
Our blessed Redeemer, having risen from the dead, is gone into heaven, where he sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. — What does this mean?
It means that Jesus Christ is a victorious King. God has crowned him with glory and honor above his fellows. Heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool. And he shall reign, with incontestable sovereignty, until all his enemies are put under his feet (Philippians 2:9-11).
The ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ is the opening of the gates of heaven for poor sinners. We are told, “He gave gifts unto men.” Having received power over all flesh, our Lord now gives the gifts of heaven to the sons of men (John 17:2). He received gifts as the God-man Mediator. And he gives the gift of life to men.
David mentions a sweet and blessed fact that Paul was not inspired to mention in our text. In Psalm 68 the Holy Ghost inspired David to tell us that our Lord Jesus “received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also.” Here is the greatness of his grace! Our glorious King persuades his enemies to lay down their arms and be at peace with him.
The ascension of Christ is a declaration of Jehovah’s satisfaction with our Savior. The Triune God has accepted his righteousness for us. The Triune Jehovah has accepted his atonement for us. The Lord our God has accepted his Christ for us, and accepted us in him!
The ascension of Christ means that he is beyond the reach of the enemy, and we are too. We are more than conquerors through him! The ascension and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is the guarantee of the salvation and glory of all who trust him.
The ascension of Christ to the throne of universal monarchy means all is well. He who rules the universe is God our Savior! He who laid down his life in our place at Calvary holds the reins of the universe in his hands. He performs all things for those for whom he died.
The Lord Jesus says to you and me, in the midst of all our doubts and troubles, in the midst of all our times of darkness and unbelief, — “Behold my hands.” In his nail-pierced hands he holds the reins of absolute sovereignty, ruling heaven, earth, and hell for us. That means all is well!