Having completely put away our sins by his one great atoning sacrifice, the Holy Spirit declares, “This man, (Christ, the God-man, Our Divine Mediator and Substitute) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.”
As God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ was always on the Father’s throne. Even when he was upon earth, he was in heaven. The Son of God did not cease to be omnipotent and omnipresent, even when he was wrapped up in human flesh. Insofar as his divinity is concerned, our Lord never left his Father’s throne. He who is everywhere present cannot be anywhere absent. Our Lord himself said to Nicodemus, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, event the Son of man which is (at this very time) in heaven” (John 3:13).
Still, as the Man-God, our Lord Jesus has assumed the glories and honors of heavenly exaltation. This Man who died as the sinner’s Substitute reigns as the sinner’s God on the right hand of the glorious Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Man Christ Jesus is exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high. -- He is that One whom John saw as a Lamb that had been slain rising up in the midst of the throne.
Our Savior’s exaltation is a pre-eminent exaltation. The triune God has ordained, “that in all things Christ might have the pre-eminence” (Col. 1:18). And he has given him the place of pre-eminence. God has crowned him with glory and honor above all the works of his hands. God has exalted Christ “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:121-23).
The dignity, which Christ now enjoys is a surpassing dignity. No angel rivals him. No creature can compare with him. Christ is pre-eminent in all things. And Christ is pre-eminent above all things. He is ---
The Pre-eminent Prophet! The Pre-eminent Priest!
The Pre-eminent King! The Pre-eminent Sacrifice!
The Pre-eminent Savior! The Pre-eminent Brother!
The Pre-eminent Friend! The Pre-eminent Husband!
Our Savior’s exaltation is a real exaltation (Acts 2:33-36). A good many men seek empty, meaningless titles, titles which give them a name, but no power or authority. Our Lord does not wear a meaningless title. He wears a name that is above every name, and he has power above all power (John 17:2). The scepter of universal monarchy is in his hand (Rom. 14:9).
He upholds all things by the word of his power. He is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. He is able to work all things together for the good of his own elect. He is able to subdue all things unto himself. He is able to preserve his own and to present them faultless before the presence of his own glory.
Our blessed Redeemer’s exaltation is a deserved exaltation (Phil. 2:5-11). If the Lord God should put it to a vote, as to whether Christ should be exalted, it would be carried by universal acclamation. All would shout –
“Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne!
Hark how the heavenly anthems drown
All music but its own!”
All the holy angels would acknowledge Christ’s right to be exalted (Isa. 6:2-3). All the saints in heaven acknowledge Christ’s right to be exalted (Rev. 4:10-11; 5:9-10). Every believer upon the earth would have Christ exalted (Col. 3:11; 1 Pet. 2:7). Every creature of God will in time acknowledge Christ’s right to be exalted (Rev. 5:11-14). No other being in heaven deserves to be there but Christ. The angels of God are kept in heaven by grace. The saints of God enter heaven by grace. Only Christ is in heaven by right.
Our great Savior’s exaltation is a representative exaltation (Heb. 6:20; Eph. 2:5-6). Just as you and I have our representatives in the houses of congress, every true believer has a Representative before God in heaven. Yet, Christ is more to us than a legal Representative, he is also a real Representative, because we are really and truly one with him. He is the Vine. We are the branches. He is the Head. We are his body. We are one with Christ!
“One when He died, one when He arose,
One when He triumphed o’er His foes.
One when in heaven He took His seat
And angels sang all hell’s defeat.”
Is Christ on a throne? He will give us to sit on the throne with him. Does Christ wear a crown? He will give us a crown that fades not away. Is Christ triumphant? He will make us triumphant too.
Child of God, set your heart’s eye upon your exalted Savior. Behold him seated upon his throne in glory, with many crowns upon his head; and remember this: – You will soon be with him and like him! Let us be content now to live in obscurity or even in banishment for Christ’s sake. Soon we shall wear the crown of glory!